The publication Stars and Stripes is reporting that a 20-year-old Afghan man seeking asylum in Germany has been charged in the 2014 death of Pfc. Christian “Jake” Chandler of Trenton. Stars and Stripes is an independent news source providing information to members of the military and defense community.
Chandler, 20 at the time of his death, was a 2012 graduate of Whitewright High School. He was assigned to Fort Drum, N.Y.-based 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division. He died on April 28, 2014, when enemy forces attacked his unit with small-arms fire, the Stars and Stripes said citing a Pentagon statement.
The story said the alleged killer was only identified as Abdol Moghada S., and was also charged with the attempted murder of two more American soldiers who were wounded in the same ambush in early 2014.
The German federal prosecutor’s office charges that S. joined the Taliban, “a “foreign terrorist group,” in 2013 in the Baraki Barak district of eastern Logar province.
“At the time, he was issued with a Kalashnikov automatic rifle, a Russian Tokarev pistol and several hand grenades,” the article said. S. allegedly used these weapons in attacks on foreign military convoys in 2013 and 2014. S. was arrested in February and is being held in detention awaiting trial. It was not clear whether he could be tried under German law as an adult. The incidents occurred while he was still a juvenile.
Chandler joined the Army in October 0f 2012, completing his basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia.
During his brief time in the service, Chandler was awarded the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the NATO Medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
Chandler’s mother, Rhonda Beazley, declined to comment Thursday on the case.
At a ceremony in September dedicating a monument in Whitewright to the city's fallen soldiers, Beazley accepted her son’s flag and said the attention and applause she and her family received would likely have overwhelmed her son.
“He was very easily embarrassed, so the attention probably would have turned him red,” Beazley said. “But he would’ve been really proud, very grateful that they would take this time to honor him and those that went before him.”