For the third time in four months, a soldier based at Fort Bragg is dead, and a husband or lover is charged with murder, leading critics to demand the home base of the Army's elite soldiers exert "control over troops" and address domestic violence.

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Raleigh, N.C.

For the third time in four months, a soldier based at Fort Bragg is dead, and a husband or lover is charged with murder, leading critics to demand the home base of the Army’s elite soldiers exert “control over [its] troops” and address domestic violence.

Police on Friday charged Sgt. Richard Smith, 26, and Pfc. Mathew Kvapil, 18, with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder days after Smith’s wife was found stabbed to death.

Authorities said Smith hired Kvapil to kill his wife — Sgt. Christina Smith, 29 — as the couple walked together Tuesday evening in their off-base Fayetteville neighborhood.

Smith’s death follows the slayings of Spc. Megan Touma, 23, and 2nd Lt. Holley Wimunc, 24. It also comes less than a year after Marine Corps Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, stationed at North Carolina’s Camp Lejeune, was found dead. In all four cases, authorities charged a fellow soldier or Marine involved in a relationship with the victim with murder.

The Army says the rate of domestic violence in the service is no worse than among civilian families.

Los Angeles

2 U.S. lawmakers’ brother is missing

The brother of U.S. Reps. Loretta and Linda Sanchez and his girlfriend were missing Friday after their boat was apparently destroyed, possibly in a collision with a barge.

A debris field found in the ocean contained fragments from the 26-foot boat Henry Sanchez was aboard with his girlfriend, Penny Avila, the Sanchez sisters, both D-Calif., said. “We pray and hope that Henry and Penny are found alive and well.”

The Coast Guard said Friday night that the boat may have collided with a barge being towed about 5 miles south of the Los Angeles harbor entrance. Catalina Freight, which owns the barge, is cooperating with investigators, said Coast Guard Ensign Stephanie Young.

Henry Sanchez, 51, and Avila, 48, both of Santa Ana, left Alamitos Bay near Long Beach late Wednesday or early Thursday en route to Santa Catalina Island and never arrived, Coast Guard Ensign Stephanie Young said.

Los Angeles

Witnesses dispute train-wreck finding

Three observers who say they were at the Chatsworth Metrolink station before last month’s deadly train crash have asserted in interviews that a final, crucial railroad signal was green as the commuter line’s engineer headed toward the collision point.

The accounts contradict a key preliminary finding by the National Transportation Safety Board. The safety agency has said its evidence shows the signal was red when the commuter train slammed into a Union Pacific train, leaving 25 dead and 135 injured.

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Thomas Daley, 45, a suburban Philadelphia landlord, secretly videotaped 34 female tenants over two decades after hiding cameras in their apartments, authorities said Friday. Authorities had not previously disclosed the number of tenants involved.

Seattle Times news services