Army Says Soldier Gave Teen Lethal Cocktail of Drugs on Base

A soldier who deployed to Afghanistan last year has been charged in last month's prescription drug overdose that resulted in the death of a 16-year-old girl at the Ft. Lewis, Wash. Army base, military authorities announced.

Pvt. Timothy Bennitt faces a slew of charges, the most serious of them being involuntary manslaughter.

According to a military statement, Leah King died Feb. 15 in Bennitt's room from a lethal combination of Xanax and the pain-killer oxymorphone, also known as Opana -- all allegedly supplied by Bennitt.

According to an accompanying military charge sheet, released by Ft. Lewis, King "had a propensity to abuse controlled substances."

King was dead when officials responded to Bennitt's room and another unidentified teenager, also 16, was found unconscious but survived, after being transported to nearby Madigan Army Medical Center.

In addition to the manslaughter charge, Bennitt was also charged with wrongful use and distribution of controlled substances and conspiracy to use them.

He's accused of distributing Xanax and Opana as well as Percocet and marijuana. Bennitt faces up to 82 years in prison, a demotion in rank, forfeiture of pay and a dishonorable discharge if convicted. .

The families of Bennitt, who is from Rolling Prairie, Ind., and King could not be reached for comment.

Investigators found that some of the drugs appeared to have been crushed and "inhaled in powder form."

In accordance with military police, an investigating officer will be assigned to conduct a hearing equivalent to a civilian grand jury.

Asked if King was known to have visited the base before, Ft. Lewis spokesman Joe Kubistek said he couldn't release more information beyond what was in the Army's statement and the charge sheet for Bennitt, or say if other soldiers could face related charges. "The investigation is still open and ongoing," he said.

But Fort Lewis has amended its visitor policies since King's death. Soldiers and Department of Defense employees are still able to sponsor visitors on base, including minors, but those minors must now be signed in at the visitor's center.

"The staff at the visitor's center will screen minors and sponsors -- denying access to those who do not appear to have a legitimate reason to visit Fort Lewis," the Army's statement said.

Random checks of vehicles and barracks have also been stepped up to prevent unauthorized minors from sneaking onto the base.

Mourning Leah

Amid numerous posts offering condolences on King's MySpace page, a poster using the name Heather identified herself as Leah's sister and wrote shortly after her death, "just so everyone knows, we have very few details about what happened to Leah. But what we know, we are not supposed to share just yet."

The post, attributed to "Leah's Family," also requests that other family members and friends not make comments to the media.

ABC News cannot independently confirm the claims made on the MySpace page.

In the "About me" portion of her MySpace page, King had posted a personal statement that read: "I'm Leah. I'm annoying. rude. A bitch. stupid. A slut. A nobody. and any other label there is."

Her relationship status says "single," but local media reports have said she was dating an unidentifed soldier based at Ft. Lewis.

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