New Information Released In Fort Drum Murder Case
7 News has new information about a 31 year old Fort Drum soldier accused of murdering his young stepson.
According to documents we obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, Staff Sergeant Raheem Hollis grabbed the child's torso and dropped or threw the boy onto a hard surface "with a force likely to produce death or grievous bodily harm."
Hollis is accused in the December 10, 2012 death of his 4 year old stepson, Michael Sanders, at their on-post home in the Crescent Woods housing development.
After an extensive investigation, the Army charged Hollis with:
- false official statements
- obstruction of justice
The Army filed the charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice in July.
According to military documents, the child sustained a lacerated liver and "cardiac tempanade."
A Google search shows "cardiac tamponade" is a life-threatening condition where the sac that encases the heart fills with fluid and then puts pressure on the heart.
The military documents also accuse Hollis of also making a false statement by saying, "I did not touch Michael at all," and "I have never picked up Michael and dropped him for any reason."
Hollis is also accused of telling a person, whose name has been redacted, to say, "Michael died because he fell down the stairs."
Fort Drum officials said the boy was pronounced dead at Samaritan Medical Center.
According to Fort Drum, Hollis is a combat engineer with the 1st Brigade Combat Team.
Earlier this month, Fort Drum said Hollis was not being confined, but he that he was in a very controlled situation and cannot leave the post.
The next step, officials said, is an Article 32 hearing -- similar to a preliminary hearing in civilian courts -- which determines if there is enough evidence to merit a general court-martial.
Hollis arrived at Fort Drum in August 2012.