A newspaper is seeking permission from a judge in order to inspect the juvenile court records of an Iraqi war vteran who is now being charged with the murder of an Army comrade’s death. They want the file of Kenneth Eastridge to be opened because at the age of 12 he was charged with reckless homicide in a juvenile court when he shot 12 year old Billy Bowman. Now, at age 24, Eastridge is being held in a Colorado jail along with two other former Army buddies for the alleged murder os Spc. Kevin Shields. State law allows juvenile files to be opened in special circumstances. Public Defender J. David Nehaus, who represents Niehaus, is arguing that juvenile files should not be opened just because the media wants to examine records in a current high profile case.
Niehaus is expected to argue that Eastridge suffered a serious head injury on his first tour in Iraq and was awarded the Purple Heart. His lawyer is arguing Eastridge suffered from post traumatic stress disorder which impacted his behavior upon returning home. This case is merely one of many which will be in the courts as PTSD continues impacting the lives of thousands of wounded Iraq war veterans. The fruits of the Bush invasion of Iraq will blossom long after the president leaves office.