A mother’s final appeal – case of Pfc. Barry Winchell, harassed and murdered – Brief Article
The mother of Pfc. Barry Winchell, who was murdered in his barracks in 1999, is appealing the Army’s denial of her $1.8 million wrongful death claim. “We have to do this for our son’s sake,” said Patricia Kutteles. “He died, and I want his death to be meaningful. I want other mothers and fathers not to have to go through this.”
Kutteles’s appeal, which was sent to Army secretary Louis Caldera on October 31, is her last chance to try for redress under the Military Claims Act, an administrative procedure that allows people to seek reimbursement from the military for injury or death.
Kutteles said fellow soldiers believed the 21-year-old Winchell was gay and harassed him for months before he was beaten to death with a baseball bat while sleeping in his cot July 5, 1999, at Fort Campbell in Kentucky. The Army knew about the harassment but did nothing to stop it, she said. The Army denied Kutteles’s initial claim, ruling there is “no legal basis” for it.
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