Army prosecutors have outlined their case against a 19-year-old infantryman accused in the brutal stabbing death of his young wife last...

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FORT LEWIS — Army prosecutors have outlined their case against a 19-year-old infantryman accused in the brutal stabbing death of his young wife last summer.

Nabila Bare, 18, was stabbed at least 71 times with knives and a meat cleaver. About three dozen of the wounds were on her head and neck.

Spc. Brandon Bare, 19, of Wilkesboro, N.C., was charged with one count of premeditated murder and two counts of indecent acts related to mutilation of her remains.

The July 12 killing happened after he returned from the Iraq war to this Army post south of Tacoma and received a Purple Heart for being wounded.

“The murder was premeditated, deliberate and savage,” the lead prosecutor, Capt. Scott DiRocco, told a judge considering the case Tuesday. “He did not stop after he killed her.”

While admitting the soldier killed his wife, Bare’s lawyer said it wasn’t planned.

“What this looks like … is an act of rage, or some sort of other unexplainable act,” defense attorney Capt. Patrick O’Brien said. “There’s nothing to show it was premeditated.”

Bare was sent home to recuperate after suffering cuts and internal ear injuries in a March 24 grenade attack on his Stryker brigade unit in Mosul.

Bare’s squad leader, Staff Sgt. Everett Clark, testified about the day their group came under attack.

He said he was knocked unconscious briefly, and when he woke he saw Bare had a foot-long piece of wooden ladder sticking into the side of his head.

Bare pulled it out, Clark said, then got up into the rear hatch with his machine gun and started shooting.

“He saw some very serious, some very nasty things,” O’Brien said. “He was through some very intense times.”

Also testifying Tuesday was Michael Collins, a nurse and case manager at Madigan Army Medical Center, who said he helped Bare enroll in treatment programs after his return from Iraq in early April 2005.

Collins said Bare told him he had trouble controlling his anger and that he didn’t like his wife going out and partying. Collins said the two told him there was no domestic violence, though Nabila had phoned him once about an outburst in which Brandon had knocked glasses off a kitchen counter.

The soldier was enrolled in an “intensive outpatient” therapy program to deal with his anger-management and combat-stress issues, Collins said.

Around 11:30 a.m. on July 12, Bare came to Collins’ office and told him he’d killed his wife. “He said, ‘I kissed her goodnight last night when she was on the computer, and this morning when I woke up she was in the kitchen. She was dead,’ ” Collins said.

The woman’s body was found in the kitchen of the couple’s home on post, Staff Sgt. Wade Bruce testified.