The who, what, when and where of Sunday night's stabbing death of a Fort Benning recruit have pretty well been answered.
Pvt. Ricky Bulmer of Clovis, Calif. died from wounds alledgedly inflicted by Pfc. George D. McDonald of Floyd, Va. after a confrontation in Bulmer's barracks room at Fort Benning. Bulmer was rushed to The Medical Center for emergency treatment but died several hours later in the hospital's intensive care unit.
McDonald, 19, was apprehended outside the 1st Battalion, 50th Infantry Regiment's barracks and is currently locked up in the Harris County jail, charged with premeditated murder.
While many questions have been answered, many more are still on the table beginning with a major one — why?
Never miss a local story.
Why did a young man from rural Virginia, who had been selected to enter the 2008-09 class at U.S. Military Academy prep school at Fort Monmouth, N.J., allegedly stab Bulmer, a 23-year-old newlywed whose lifelong dream was to wear Army green?
And, although post officials insist that one incident had nothing to do with the other, on the same night that Bulmer was repeatedly stabbed, a short distance away, McDonald's identical twin brother was arrested by military police and later charged with possession with the intent to distribute drugs.
"It's simply a coincidence," said public affairs spokesperson Monica Manganaro Wednesday afternoon. "James McDonald was returning from leave when he was apprehended. He's been released from pre-trail confinement and will remain on post until his hearing."
From interviews with the Bulmer family, it's been learned that Ricky's dream of joining the Army finally happened earlier this year when he joined the California National Guard.
His aunt, Leslie Grimes, said from her Fresno, Calif., home that "becoming a soldier is all Ricky ever wanted to do. He had told us just before he left that he wanted to go to Iraq, to fight for his country. And now this."
The family was originally told that Bulmer, who was in only his third day of basic training with the 1-50's Echo Company, had interrupted a soldier pilfering fellow soldiers' lockers.
But that information, delivered soon after Sunday night's attack, proved to be premature.
"That report was strictly speculative," said Manganaro, who is the public's link between the Criminal Investigations Command and the Staff Judge Advocate's office at Fort Benning. "There is no report at all of anyone breaking into lockers."
She explained that while Bulmer's company was conducting drill ceremonies outside the barracks, Bulmer, because of a previous injury, was in the open bay of the barracks that evening.
McDonald had been living in the 1-50's cadre room while his permanent party barracks were being renovated.
Had the two had a prior confrontation?
Grimes says she was told that there had been a prior altercation involving the two men. But Manganaro said she had no knowledge of such a confrontation.
"We'll definitely check into it," she said. The fact that McDonald has been charged with premeditated murder would suggest such a previous run-in.
So who are the McDonald brothers, both are whom are now in jail?
According to principal Barry Hollandsworth, the brothers were registered at Floyd County High School until May 15, 2007, when they withdrew from school.
"They'd only been at our school about a year and a half," said Hollandsworth. "I don't recall having any issues with either young men. I did hear later on that they earned their GEDs."
A guidance counselor at the school said the boys did not participate in extracurricular activities because of lack of a transcript from a prior school. Jeff Dalton, the chief investigator for the Floyd County Sheriff's Department, said neither McDonald had a criminal record as an adult.
George McDonald graduated from basic training in September, then completed Airborne School before being assigned a temporary job as a supply clerk with the 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment. McDonald is charged not only with premeditated murder but also with two counts of aggravated assault and resisting arrest. If convicted of the murder charge, McDonald could face a death sentence. He is likely to remain in the Harris County jail until an Article 32 hearing his held at Fort Benning.