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MacDill Air Force Base incident shocks AWOL soldier's relative

TAMPA — Family of a man accused of trying to enter MacDill Air Force Base with a cache of weapons and fake identification expressed shock Wednesday at the turn of events.

MacDill officials say that Spc. Christopher Paul Kilburn, 26, and a woman passenger, Micah Noel Goodier, tried to get through MacDill's Bayshore Boulevard gate about 5 p.m. Monday with three handguns, three rifles and clips of ammo in a sport utility vehicle.

"Why he would have done what he did is a mystery to me," said Kilburn's former sister-in-law, Jennifer Spitzer of South Carolina.

Kilburn has a 5-year-old daughter with his ex-wife, Maureen. The two divorced in February, Spitzer said.

He was reported as absent without leave in April, she said.

Spitzer hadn't heard from him since then, and she doesn't believe other family members or friends have been in touch with him either. She said she doesn't know of Goodier and couldn't speculate on their relationship.

"I think this is a surprise to people who know him well," she said. "I don't think there's anyone out there except for Chris who knows what his motivations were."

It's unclear why the man and woman were attempting to enter the base.

The military released few details about Monday's incident.

Military officials did not release the content of any statements made by the two.

Kilburn was booked Tuesday night into the Hillsborough County jail. He has been charged with desertion and other charges may be added, MacDill officials said.

Goodier's name does not appear in county jail records. MacDill officials did not disclose whether she was held or released.

As a civilian, she does not fall under military jurisdiction.

The U.S. Attorney's Office is reviewing the case, said spokesman Steve Cole. No charges were filed Wednesday.

Virginia court records show Kilburn had a prior record.

He was charged in 2005 with forgery and unlawfully obtaining a Department of Motor Vehicles document.

Records detailing the charges weren't available Wednesday, but a director for the Virginia DMV said they might have related to any falsified document, including a driver's license.

In court, Kilburn pleaded guilty to a lesser charge: obstructing justice without force.

That's a misdemeanor, unlike the initial charges, which were felonies.

He was sentenced to a year in jail, according to records in Culpeper County, Va.

The Army does not accept felons, a recruiter said.

People with misdemeanor convictions may be admitted under some circumstances.

Certain misdemeanors— including drug possession — preclude Army service, but obstructing justice without force is a "waivable" charge, said Ron Horvath, of the Tampa Army recruiting battalion.

Kilburn was last stationed at Fort Riley in Kansas.

Times news researcher John Martin and staff writer Kim Wilmath contributed to this report. Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at jvandervelde@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3433.

MacDill Air Force Base incident shocks AWOL soldier's relative 06/16/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 16, 2010 10:25pm]
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