A judge sentenced a 20-year-old transient to 20 years in prison Thursday for fatally stabbing a disabled Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier 14 times in the back, neck and head during a drug-fueled attack in March.
The soldier, Nathaniel Ollis, 29, was killed in his apartment in the 500 block of Lilly Road just 21/2 years after he suffered permanent injuries when an improvised explosive device detonated while he was serving with the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division in Afghanistan.
Thurston County Superior Court Judge Carol Murphy handed down Dwight Bradsbery’s sentence after hearing a prepared speech by the dead soldier’s older sister, who flew in from Seabrook, N.H.
Lisa Ollis-Ruszczyk spoke of how she believes Bradsbery deserves more than a 20-year sentence for killing her brother. Prior to Thursday’s hearing, Bradsbery had pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, residential burglary, theft of a motor vehicle and attempting to elude police.
“Respect for our soldiers, God bless America, doesn’t that mean anything today?” Ollis-Ruszczyk said as she addressed Judge Murphy. “Sometimes I think our men and women in the military are in more danger here in America than they are overseas. Why would people want to hurt the ones that are protecting us? I just don’t understand.”
Bradsbery stabbed Ollis 14 times in the back, neck and head, Thurston County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Scott Jackson said in court Thursday. Court papers quote Bradsbery saying the 12-inch knife broke apart during the attack, leaving the blade in Ollis’ body.
Jackson said that there is no way to make sense of Ollis’ murder and no motive, other than the fact that Ollis and Bradsbery had become deeply involved in the local drug culture.
Bradsbery’s attorney, Alexander Frix, conceded that his client was high on methamphetamine at the time of Ollis’ death.
Ollis was using a wheelchair when he was murdered. He had suffered two shattered heels on Sept. 24, 2009, when a 550-pound bomb ripped through his Stryker vehicle in southeastern Afghanistan.
Three of Ollis’ friends and fellow soldiers died in the blast. The bomb went off as the Stryker was traveling outside the village of Omar Zai.