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Fort Riley soldier sentenced in shooting death of fellow soldier

TOPEKA, Kan. | A Fort Riley soldier has been sentenced to six months in military prison for the shooting death of a fellow soldier at a Junction City, Kan., apartment.

Sgt. Castullo J. Salas was convicted last week in a general court martial on charges of negligent homicide, obstruction of justice and wrongfully leaving the scene of a shooting without providing assistance. A military judge sentenced him to serve time at the Fort Sill, Okla., Regional Confinement Facility.

Salas was convicted for the unintentional shooting death on July 28 of Spc. Christian Quinones. Both soldiers were from San Diego. Quinones died of a gunshot wound to the abdomen. The soldiers were celebrating Quinones' 21st birthday.

They were assigned 2nd Battalion, 70th Armor, 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division and had previously deployed to Iraq.

The case now goes to review by Maj. Gen. Robert Durbin, commanding general of the 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley. Durbin can accept or reject the court martial decision, or grant clemency to Salas. If upheld, Salas' can appeal to the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals.

Salas had been charged in Geary County District Court with involuntary manslaughter and held on $50,000 bond.

Meanwhile, another Fort Riley soldier is awaiting word whether she will face a court martial for the Oct. 20 stabbing death of another soldier outside a Manhattan, Kan., bar.

Spc. Latoya Pitts, 23, of Edmond, Okla., is charged with stabbing Pvt. Antonio Ortiz, 24, of Yonkers, N.Y. Pitts had a hearing Dec. 5 to evidence in the case. An investigator is reviewing the findings before determining if Pitts will face a court martial.

According to police reports, Ortiz was stabbed outside Silverado's Bar in the Aggieville business district near Kansas State University in Manhattan, about 15 miles from Fort Riley. Ortiz was found in a nearby parking lot with a severe wound to his abdomen and taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Both soldiers are with Company D, 125th Brigade Support Battalion at Fort Riley.

The post northeast of Junction City is home to more than 15,000 soldiers and the 1st Infantry Division.

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On the Net:

Fort Riley: http://www.riley.army.mil

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