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Fort Bragg Twist: A Husband Is Slain

The wife of an Army Special Operations officer has been charged in his shooting death, and the police also sought to arrest a teen-ager, in the latest in a string of domestic violence cases that have shaken Fort Bragg.

Joan Shannon, 35, was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the July 23 fatal shooting of Maj. David Shannon, 40.

"We believe financial gain is one of the primary motives of the crime," said police Lt. Tom Guilette.

Police Sgt. Alex Thompson said the alleged financial gain involved military and insurance money. He did not give an amount.

Joan Shannon told police she awoke to gunshots about 3 a.m. and saw an intruder, and followed him from the bedroom down a hallway. She was unable to give police a description.

Police arrested Shannon based on evidence at the scene and "admissions and omissions that were given" during the investigation, Thompson said.

Police issued a petition charging a 15-year-old in connection with the slaying. The teen had not been arrested by early Wednesday, Thompson said. The police did not disclose the identity of the juvenile.

In the Shannon slaying, three of his four children and a teen-age friend were at home when the soldier was shot in the chest and head as he slept, police said.

Shannon's slaying is the fifth domestic-related slaying linked to the base since June 11. Four Fort Bragg wives have been killed, allegedly by their husbands, and Fort Bragg officials say they are looking into the cases to determine if the stress of military life was a contributing factor.

David Shannon had served in the Army since 1987 and was assigned to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command. He had been at Fort Bragg two years. The family lived off the base.

His wife worked for about a year as a loan receptionist at the Fort Bragg Credit Union, said her supervisor, Mae Davis. Davis said workers there raised about $500 for her and her family after her husband's death.

The first domestic slaying at the Army post occurred on June 11. Fayetteville, N.C., police said that was when Sgt. 1st Class Rigoberto Nieves — a soldier in the 3rd Special Forces Group who had been back from Afghanistan just two days — shot his wife, Teresa, and then himself in their bedroom.

Officials said Nieves had requested leave to resolve personal problems.

Sheriff's investigators said Jennifer Wright was strangled June 29. Her husband, Master Sgt. William Wright of the 96th Civil Affairs Battalion, reported her missing two days later. Then on July 19, he led investigators to her body in Hoke County and was charged with murder.

Wright, who had been back from Afghanistan about a month, had moved out of his house and was living in the barracks.

The couple met in high school in Mason, Ohio, about 30 miles north of Cincinnati. They married shortly after Jennifer graduated.

Her father, Archie Watson, said the Wrights had talked recently about divorce. Jennifer had grown tired of military life, her father said, but William Wright was reluctant to let her go.

On the same day Wright was arrested, Sgt. 1st Class Brandon Floyd shot his wife, Andrea, a native of Alliance, Ohio, then killed himself in their Stedman home.

The Fayetteville Observer reported Floyd was a member of Delta Force, the secretive anti-terrorism unit based at Fort Bragg. He returned from Afghanistan in January, officials said. The couple's three children were in Ohio visiting relatives at the time of the deaths.

Nieves, Wright and Floyd were all assigned to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command.

In the fourth case, Army Sgt. Cedric Ramon Griffin, 28, was charged with first-degree murder, two counts of attempted first-degree murder and first-degree arson in the July 9 death of his wife, Cumberland County Sheriff Moose Butler said.

Marilyn Griffin, 32, was found dead in the burning home. Her two children escaped the fire.

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