Soldier who shot himself was close to being sentenced for assault

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

A soldier who shot and killed a superior officer before killing himself at Fort Bragg, N.C., last month was just one day away from being sentenced in Kansas for punching a woman in the face.

A judge in Kansas formally dismissed the aggravated battery charge against Ricky Elder yesterday. Prosecutors said the 27-year-old Army specialist from Hutchinson was home on leave in April 2010 when he hit the woman so hard that he shattered her eye socket.

Elden died last month. The Army said he shot and killed Lt. Col. Roy Tisdale of Alvin, Texas, on June 28 before turning the gun on himself. A third soldier was wounded and has been released from the hospital.

The Hutchinson News reported that Senior Assistant Reno County District Attorney Stephen Maxwell said he notified the Army when Elder was initially charged with aggravated battery. Maxwell said the Army couldn't discharge Elder early because he had not been convicted.

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