Spouse of Slain 101st Soldier in Custody But Remains Uncharged, FBI Says

Sgt. Brittney Niecol Silvers (Photo taken as a Spc.)
Sgt. Brittney Niecol Silvers (Photo taken as a Spc.)

Victor Silvers is still in custody in connection with the Oct. 14 shooting death of his wife, Army Sgt. Brittney Niecol Silvers, a soldier in the 101st Airborne Division's 101st Aviation Brigade, according to an FBI official.

Silvers was posthumously promoted to sergeant and received the Army Commendation Medal, the release states.

Military police arrested her husband late Sunday night after all gates at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, were closed just before 10 p.m. while military police investigated the shooting, which occurred in base housing, according to Maj. Martin Meiners, a 101st Airborne spokesman.

The FBI has taken over the case because it has jurisdiction over civilians who commit crimes on military reservations, according to Supervisory Special Agent Timothy Beam, chief division counsel for the FBI's Louisville office.

Victor Silvers is being held on a federal complaint, but he has not been charged in his wife's shooting death, Beam told Military.com, confirming that Victor Silvers is the soldier's "estranged husband."

A federal criminal case can begin in one of two ways -- with the filing of a criminal complaint or with an indictment, according to Beam, who added that the circumstances of the arrest can be presented to a federal magistrate.

In this case, a judge will decide whether there is probable cause to believe that a federal crime has been committed and whether Victor Silvers committed it, Beam said.

"A person cannot be convicted solely based upon a criminal complaint. It is just a placeholder, allowing the government to proceed with its criminal case," he said. "Once it is filed and the defendant becomes aware of it via his initial appearance, the government has 30 days to present the case to a grand jury for an indictment."

On Tuesday, Fort Campbell officials named Silvers as the soldier killed in the shooting.

The Jacksonville, Florida, native was a 27-year-old automated logistical specialist. She joined the Army in 2011 and completed initial-entry training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and Fort Lee, Virginia. Silvers served for several years at Fort Hood, Texas, before arriving at Fort Campbell in 2016, according to a base press release.

"101st Combat Aviation Brigade has lost an incredibly valued member of the Destiny team. We continue to pray for her family and friends during this difficult time," said Lt. Col. Cayton Johnson, commander of 101st Combat Aviation Brigade (Rear), 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). "We request that everyone respect the privacy of her family as they grieve this tragic loss."

Silvers completed the Combat Lifesaver Course and Basic Leader Course while serving at Fort Campbell, the release states.

Her awards and decorations include the Army Achievement Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Good Conduct Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Driver and Mechanic Badge, and the sharpshooter Marksmanship Qualification Badge.

-- Matthew Cox can be released at matthew.cox@military.com.

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