Charges dropped against JBLM soldier arrested for death threatson June 8, 2012 @ 2:36 pm (Updated: 5:46 pm - 6/8/12 )
Prosecutors dropped the charges Friday and called the girlfriend, Serena Kiptoo, an unreliable witness.
Kiptoo had told police that Lt. Col. Robert Underwood had paid a hit man $150,000 to kill his estranged wife and a fellow officer. She said he had also threatened to kill her after she found a naked photo of his teenaged daughter on his computer.
Underwood had allegedly told his daughter that he planned to do something "big," and they would "see it on television."
His estranged wife told detectives he would follow through with the threats, according to court documents.
But Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said Friday the statements cannot be proven.
"We only proceed forward on a case when we believe it is just to do so, and we can prove the case," Lindquist said. "A search of the defendant's computer did not substantiate the girlfriend's allegations. Number two, investigation revealed that the victim left voice messages with the defendant that suggest she had a motive to fabricate the allegations."
Lindquist said his office will not bring charges against the girlfriend.
"This is not a circumstance where we can show that she lied or perjured herself," he said. "But rather it's a circumstance where the allegations just simply cannot be proven and are suspect."
Prior to his arrest, Underwood was a member of the 191st Training Support Brigade at JBLM. He was transferred out of the unit following the allegations, which included threats against his boss.
A base spokesperson said it is unlikely Underwood will be allowed to return to his previous post.
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