HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) _ A Fort Bragg solider was just one day away from being sentenced in Kansas for punching a woman in the face when he killed himself and a superior officer last month.
On Friday, a Reno County judge formally dismissed the aggravated battery charge against Ricky G. Elder.
Prosecutors said the 27-year-old Army specialist from Hutchinson was home on leave in April 2010 when he hit the woman so hard that he shattered her eye socket.
The Hutchinson News (http://bit.ly/Oqx4HL) reported that Elder's military service led to numerous delays. In the midst of the case, he was deployed.
The initial plan was to wait to sentence Elder until he was discharged. But his discharge, initially scheduled for earlier this year, was delayed because he was accused of theft and facing court martial proceedings.