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Hearing underway for Knox soldier charged in slaying

May. 30, 2013 - 01:29PM   |  
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FORT KNOX, KY. — A hearing is underway at Fort Knox for a soldier who is accused of fatally shooting a civilian worker at the central Kentucky Army post.

The News-Enterprise reports the Article 32 hearing began Wednesday for Sgt. Marquinta Jacobs and was expected to conclude Thursday. The hearing is similar to a grand jury proceeding in a civilian court, but the defendant is allowed to be present.

Jacobs, 36, is charged with murder in the April 3 death of 51-year-old Lloyd Gibert, who worked at the Human Resources Command building.

An eyewitness to the shooting testified Wednesday that he was walking with Gibert when Jacobs approached them and asked whether Gibert was having an affair with his wife.

Army Capt. Jonathan Hawkins said Gibert answered “No, no, no,” when he saw Jacobs pull out a handgun.

Investigators say Jacobs fired eight shots at Gibert before fleeing the scene.

Hawkins said he had never met the shooter before that day, but when prosecutors asked if he recognized the defendant he made eye contact with him then answered, “Yes, I recognize Sgt. Jacobs.”

Hawkins was one of nine people to testify Wednesday, but he was the only eyewitness to the shooting.

Sgt. Tomas Ocampo, who described himself as a close friend of Jacobs, said the defendant called him and confessed to shooting someone.

“I could tell in his voice it was sinking in, what had just happened,” Ocampo testified.

Lead investigator Special Agent Jennifer Swartz testified that a bullet from Gibert’s body matched a 45-caliber handgun found in the glove compartment of the vehicle Jacobs was driving.

Defense attorney Capt. John Plymire objected to Swartz’s testimony, saying she is not an expert.

After testimony concludes, investigating officer Lt. Col. Lloyd Nathan will send a report to Jacob’s commanding officer that includes his determination on whether reasonable grounds exist for the charges and a recommendation on how to proceed.

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