Muscogee County Grand Jury has decided not to indict five soldiers charged in the beating of a former soldier and his friend in downtown Columbus last year.
The Muscogee County grand jury returned a no bill Tuesday on charges against Nathan J. Smajda, Dillon C. Fisher, Shawn H. Kaverman, Raymond E. Crowder III and Tyler A. Browning. The soldiers faced aggravated battery and battery charges in the April 9 beating of former soldier Eric Gutliph and his friend, Kristy Gibson.
Assistant District Attorney Doug Breault, who was assigned as prosecutor, could not be reached for comment.
The no bill comes more than a month after two general court-martial panels at Fort Benning cleared Fisher and Smajda of assault with intent to commit grevious bodily injury. Military actions against the other three soldiers had been placed on hold.
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Gutliph, 22, and Gibson, 26, were beaten after they were confronted about 2:30 a.m. at 11th Street and First Avenue after leaving a downtown bar where Gutliph had argued with Fisher.
Gutliph sustained a broken nose, cuts, a swollen right eye and bleeding on the brain. Gibson was struck in the face by Smajda while he was on top of Gutliph who was slammed to the ground and punched in the face.