Calvin Gibbs was found guilty in a military court Thursday of being the leader of a U.S. Army thrill kill team that murdered three Afghan civilians for sport. Soldiers interviewed by investigators say Sergeant Gibbs had alluded to previous crimes he committed in Iraq, including one in which he shot into a car carrying an Iraqi family with children. "You know, he's a good kid," said Chris Winfield. “All he said was, ‘I don’t know where these guys are getting this stuff,’ ” said Eric Thomas, a childhood friend here, shortly after speaking with Sergeant Gibbs by telephone one recent evening. The only problem is I don't feel safe here telling anyone. Calvin Gibbs and Spc. He brought his concerns to the platoon sergeant and it was revealed that the “host” company commander and the “mother” company commander were engaged in a juvenile rivalry and couldn’t agree on who had to provide ammunition. In a confession taped in May 2010 and obtained by ABC News, one of the soldiers admitted the team's role in the murders, but told Army investigators that Gibbs, his unit's "crazy" sergeant, had hatched the plan. Corporal Emmitt Quintal, one of the men charged, blamed the drug use on "Bad days, stressful days, days that we just needed to escape" in a taped interview with Army investigators. Sen. Nelson's office told ABC News they had no record of a call from the Winfields. The prosecution tried to convince an ill-prepared jury that within two weeks, SSG Gibbs had successfully convinced a small group of impressionable young soldiers to commit murder. Specialist Jeremy N. Morlock, also accused in the Afghanistan deaths, said Sergeant Gibbs had openly discussed how he might kill Specialist Adam C. Winfield, another one of the accused, who he worried would report the killings. CONTACT CALVIN GIBBS Letters for Calvin Gibbs can be sent to: Calvin Gibbs 89266 United States Disciplinary Barracks Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027 The military says the investigation of the murders also led to the discovery of widespread drug use at Forward Operating Base Ramrod. Tall, clean cut, confident, and ready to serve, Calvin was often described as a “recruiting soldier” poster. If convicted of all charges, he faces a maximum punishment of life in prison, no parole. SSG Gibbs was found guilty of murder, planting weapons and illegal dismemberment. And it's tough. Morlock said that killing people came "too easy" to Gibbs. Jeremy Morlock, Staff Sgt. Soldier Describes Thrill Kill of Innocent Afghans. "He doesn't need to. “People get messed up in the head,” during combat missions, said Paul Thomas, Eric Thomas’s older brother. The friends played video games and rode skateboards, often spending time at the Gibbses’ house because friends said his parents were nice. Turn on desktop notifications for breaking stories about interest? After an amateurish good cop/bad cop routine that left SSG Gibbs bewildered, the agents begin to grill the staff sergeant about a string of murders disguised as legitimate “kills.” Thinking the agents were applying the Reid technique – an intense method of interrogation where a suspect is pressured into saying things that could be held against him – SSG Gibbs is surprised when the agent’s line of questioning switched to murder instead of focusing on the smaller offenses committed by his unit. Calvin R. Gibbs walks through a poppy field in Kandahar province. And you know, he set it up, like, he grabbed the dude.". "If your sergeant says, 'Let's go to this village, we're going to sweep this village and he throws a grenade at someone, and threatens you that if you're not on his team and you're a possible snitch and you're going to get beaten or killed by him, then you're going to role play along with it. wrote Adam. Michael Wagnon, left to right. When in February, he reached out. By early this spring, as Sergeant Gibbs and others were being investigated, military investigators were widening their inquiry, specifically asking about a possible shooting in Iraq in early 2004. In March 2016, Gibbs attorney filed a request to consider new evidence that one of the killings was due to legitimate combat engagement. ", CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE INTERVIEW WITH MORLOCK. Gibbs’s attorney has done the same, and has said that the killings were combat-related and therefore justified. On a videotaped confession obtained by ABC News, one of the soldiers, Corporal Jeremy Morlock, described how his Sergeant, Calvin Gibbs, had the men in his unit pick out civilians at random and then kill them with grenades and rifle fire. "Yeah, an innocent dude," answered Adam. “There were two scenarios SSG Gibbs told me about taking his life,” Specialist Morlock told Army investigators as part of the investigation into the five soldiers. Read stories based on reporting for “Trump Revealed,” a broad, comprehensive biography of the life of the 45th president. SSG Gibbs had become a “get out of jail free” card for those who were dirty and it became necessary for those who weren’t to say something against him to avoid being targeted. Before Sergeant Gibbs invoked his right to a lawyer during an interview with investigators in May, investigators say he told them that “all incidents where he has been involved in are exactly how they are reported, meaning he was attacked and he then responded with his M-4, killing the local national. Staff Sgt. "Sergeant Gibbs had a charisma, he had a 'follow me' personality," prosecutor Maj. Robert Stelle said in closing arguments Wednesday. In February, Adam Winfield told his parents back home in Florida about the grenade incident via Facebook. The military jury sentenced SSG Gibbs to life in prison with eligibility for parole in 10 years. Sgt. And now, in essence, we're just fighting for his life. There's a rogue sergeant out there apparently killing innocent victims. Holmes, 21, admitted to the judge that he had fired his machine gun at the victim, that he knew the man was probably innocent , and that he believed he had caused the man's death. Article on questions over combat culture and the 5th Stryker Combat Brigade. “The first scenario was going to take him to the gym and drop a weight on his neck. Calvin Gibbs and Spc. When questioned on whether any of the incidents were staged, SSG Gibbs stated that was offensive.”, Pfc. And they're threatening him because he might say something. That leaves Gibbs and Spec. Adam Winfield, the specialist who said he was threatened and pressured by Gibbs, was sentenced to three years on reduced charges of manslaughter and use of an illegal substance. The soldiers were serving at Forward Operating Base Ramrod in southern Afghanistan. 24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events. Staff Sgt. Adam W. Kelly, who is accused of assaulting Private Stoner along with several other soldiers, as well as possessing hashish, told investigators that he admired Sergeant Gibbs, as did others in their platoon, from senior officers to subordinates, and that he “displayed solid tactics.”. Recalls Winfield, "The sergeant came back to me and said, 'You know, it's a terrible situation, but from our end, it's a he-said, she said conversation. His father worked in maintenance for the Mormon church and his family was active in the faith. With the knowledge that he would pass a drug test with flying colors tucked securely in his back pocket, SSG Gibbs readily complied when CID summoned him headquarters in Khandahar Province. Sergeant Gibbs played defensive end on the football team as a high school freshman. Calvin R. Gibbs walks through a poppy field in Kandahar province. In June 2016, the military appeals court ordered a fresh look into the evidence. "He pulled out one of his grenades, an American grenade, you know, popped it, throws it, tells me where to go to whack this guy, kill this guy, kill this guy," Morlock told the investigators. "And so we identify a guy. Michael Wagnon, left to right. Calvin Gibbs called to say he did not kill Afghan civilians for the thrill of killing. Senator – and no one helped. Morlock also told investigators he believed that Gibbs was crazy and wouldn't hesitate to silence witnesses. Jeremy Morlock, the specialist whose videotaped confession was leaked last year, was sentenced to 24 years in prison on three counts of murder, among other charges. As the soldiers in SSG Gibb’s unit corroborated their stories, SSG Gibbs was isolated and immediately interrogated for what he naively believed was a simple drug investigation. During a mass search, child pornography was found on an Army medic’s computer and he faced a courts-martial that would destroy his life. He was sentenced to life in prison, but will be eligible for parole in nine years. He is one of five soldiers facing potential courts-martial on charges that they killed Afghan civilians for sport, planting weapons near them to fake combat situations, collecting their body parts and taking photographs posing with their corpses. A spokesman for the Army’s central Criminal Investigations Division in Virginia said he could not discuss whether Sergeant Gibbs had faced previous criminal investigations or charges. . He left The Post in June 2015. videotaped confession was leaked last year, Reporting archive: Trump’s financial records, depositions and interview transcripts. He claims he aimed his rifle over the body of the Afghan victim. (Max Becherer/Polaris). "Did you not understand what I just told you what people did in my platoon?" In 2008 they had a son, Calvin Richard Gibbs Jr. On her MySpace page, Private Gibbs listed her husband as one of her heroes, “for putting up with me, but mostly for the sacrifices he makes for our country.”. Several soldiers recalled Sergeant Gibbs and Specialist Morlock tossing severed fingers in front of a soldier who had reported the widespread use of hashish within the unit. Spc. Again, young GI's caught up in a difficult war are accused of widespread drug use and the random killing of innocent civilians, apparently for sport or thrills. He's in the front lines. "Gibbs called it like, 'Hey you guys wanna, you guys wanna wax this guy or what?' He had been charged with premeditated murder, which carries a sentence of life in prison without parole. Morlock said." A lawyer for Wagnon has previously assailed Morlock's testimony, noting he requested investigative documents prior to testimony. Election 2020 preliminary exit polls: Trump's approval rating 48% in PA, FBI investigates robocalls warning voters to 'stay home', Cities nationwide bracing for violence on Election Day that's peaceful -- so far, Virus hospitalizations surge as pandemic shadows US election, MATTHEW COLE, BRIAN ROSS and ANGELA M. HILL. Months of isolation, mental, and emotional abuse followed. Photo gallery of the soldiers accused in the case. They had found the perfect scapegoat. Sgt. Mr. Thomas, his brother Paul, Sergeant Gibbs and another friend were close as teenagers, frequently camping out on summer nights in Red Lodge, Mont., fishing, shooting BB guns and drinking beer. Sergeant Gibbs received a graduate equivalency degree from the program in the fall of 2002, having already enlisted in the military. TACOMA, Wash. — Staff Sgt. D.R.A.M.A. The officers took turns screaming at SSG Gibbs and threatening him, a miserable song and dance that was repeated each time he was transferred to a different facility. ", "But we were working from the place that he was afraid for his life," said Emma. Background on the allegations of murder and conspiracy. And you know, he set it up, like, he grabbed the dude. Three months after trying to blow the whistle, he says Sergeant Gibbs forced him to take part in another murder. "[Adam] said that if he told anybody over there," said Chris Winfield, " that this particular individual was keeping an eye on him. Said Emma Winfield, "It's heartbreaking. ", "You never know. And fighting for justice to be done.". Cpl. “I believe that because of his experience that more people came back alive and uninjured than would have without him having been part of the platoon,” Private Kelly said.