A Green Beret who stands accused of murdering an unarmed Afghan man has requested all charges against him be dropped, as the investigator leading the probe as been accused of wearing medals he never earned.
In a memo filed on Wednesday, former Special Forces Major Matt Golsteyn demanded that his case either be accelerated to trial or the charges be dismissed entirely, forgoing his right to a preliminary hearing in military court.
Golsteyn’s lawyer, Phil Stackhouse, says the decision has come following an anonymous tip about the case’s lead investigator, Army Sergeant Mark Delacruz, who is accused of stolen valor.
Stackhouse claims the 1st Class Sgt. was caught wearing awards he hadn’t actually earned for ‘personal gain’, including the much-coveted Purple Heart.
Matt Golsteyn (left) was accused of premeditated murder in 2018, after he admitted to killing an Afghan man he thought was a bomb-maker, eight years earlier (pictured: Golsteyn poses with a local man in Afghanistan)
Golsteyn (shown left in 2019) has now requested all charges against him be dropped or for the case the be fast-tracked to trial. His wife Julie (right) believes the whole thing has been a farce since the beginning
The attorney claims Delacruz has been charged with four counts of ‘intent to deceive’, for wearing other unearned accolades, such as the Combat Action badge.
Stackhouse believes the investigator’s ‘questionable conduct’ casts doubt on the validity of Golsteyn’s murder probe and the evidence Delacruz has alleged to have gathered.
In the memo to the US Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) – which will oversee proceedings in military court – on behalf of Golsteyn, Stackhouse alleges Delacruz ‘held himself out as a Special Forces soldier, infantryman, sniper, and bragged about killing people in combat.’
‘Ironically, he’s bragged about losing his Special Forces Tab for an alleged bad shoot in combat,’ Stackhouse continued, pointing out that it’s the same charge his client faces.
The Criminal Investigation Command (CID) have confirmed that Delacruz has been charged with the ‘unauthorized wear’ of military accolades.
Though, they say, he hasn’t been suspended from duty because ‘the allegations came to light in 2018’.
Golsteyn’s lawyer, Phil Stackhouse, says an anonymous tip led to an investigation of the Sergeant overseeing the murder probe. Mark Delacruz now faces charges of stolen valor
Golsteyn (seen in white) made the stunning confession during a job interview with the CIA in 2011. an investigation was launched and he was charged with premeditated murder in November last year
The White House and USASOC are yet to comment on the situation.
In February 2010, Golsteyn is accused of fatally shooting an unarmed Afghan man, who he says he suspected to be a bomb-maker, in Marijah.
The confession was made during a polygraph test during a job interview with the CIA in 2011.
Golsteyn was in charge of a team of Army Special Force troops during the shooting, and he believed the man he shot – referred to as ‘Rasoul’ – was the architect behind an explosion that killed two Marines.
Rasoul had previously been detained and questioned over the bombing but was released citing a lack of evidence.
He was charged with premeditated murder by the US military in December, 2018.
Golsteyn could face life in prison or the death penalty, if convicted.
In an explosive Facebook post, Julie Golsteyn blasted the investigation as a ‘cover-up’
Golsteyn allegedly admitted he believed the man – referred to as ‘Rasoul’ – to be the responsible architect behind a blast that killed two Marines
In a Facebook post, Golsteyn’s wife Julie, said: ‘[The] first investigation was based on a lie. The lead agent from that one admitted under oath that he lied in every report he wrote.
‘[The] lead agent from the second investigation [has been] charged with false statement and stolen valor.
‘USASOC…are actively working to cover it all up.
‘We have said from the beginning this is all about retribution and self-promotion.’
President Trump tweeted in December that after a series of requests, he would be looking into Golsteyn’s case – a man he referred to as a ‘US Military hero’.