Former Marine pleads guilty to charges

Full story: Springfield News Leader

A Marine awarded a Purple Heart in 2003 for service in Iraq pleaded guilty on Thursday to a string of apartment burglaries and charges of sexual misconduct with a 14-year-old. Aaron Wintterle, 26, pleaded ...
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1 - 17 of 17 Comments Last updated Mar 30, 2014
S BANNON

United States

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#1
Sep 11, 2006
 

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I think we let our military young men and young women down when we don't require counseling after serving in war zones. This was a heroic young man....who needed help.
K_Boston

Brookline, MA

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#2
Nov 11, 2006
 

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This man is a friend of mine...honestly, my hero. It is unfortunate that he didn't receive the counseling he needed after the war, because this type of behavior is not who he is. He truly is someone to admire...regardless of this mistake
Angel

Springfield, MO

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#3
Jan 22, 2007
 
K_Boston wrote:
This man is a friend of mine...honestly, my hero. It is unfortunate that he didn't receive the counseling he needed after the war, because this type of behavior is not who he is. He truly is someone to admire...regardless of this mistake
He may have been awarded a Purple Heart, and to some he may be a "War Hero", but he has not lived up to that title. This man took a young girls innocence away. How is that admirable? How is breaking into an apartment in the middle of the night and trying to rape a young girl something to look up to? People need to do more research on this story, and find out what REALLY happened. This man is no hero. What is he teaching other military men who come home from Iraq? That you can come home, commit a serious crime and then say that "they don't remember doing it" and get away with it. If you saw the article in the local newspaper, this man never denied doing what he did. His response was only that he didn't remember it. It sickens me to think that men can do what this man did to a young girl, get away with it, and people still have respect for them!
Stephanie

Los Angeles, CA

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#5
Aug 3, 2008
 

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Jillian you're right to a point, people make their own choices but on other points you're upset, understandably, and to quick to judge. I have been a christian for several years and just because you are a christian does'nt mean that bad things won't ever happen to you or that you won't make stupid decisions. Part of what it does mean is that by the grace of God you can be brought and helped through the mess ups in life and that you are forgiven and can heal as well as some how having something good come out of tragedy. Aside from this, I knew Aaron Wintterle personally for a few years before he even went into the service and after. I am not saying that what happened to him in Iraq is a full excuse but something really messed him up during that time because that is NOT the man I knew. I could say a lot of good things about him, especially that he was always a good friend to me and I am ATTRACTIVE. He never crossed any line, ever. I promise I am truly sorry for this girl and for the nightmares anyone may have that was affected by this. By all means, Aaron should be delt with but be careful about what judgements you take. By the way my brother, one of Aarons good friends, has been in the militatry for seven years and the military isn't always on top of their game in looking out for their soldiers. my brother just got back from being stationed in a place I wont mention for a year and NO ONE has even suggested counseling for him. Sometimes those people like Aaron who need it most are the ones that don't realize they need it. Maybe serving his sentence, though it may not be much, along with counseling and forgiveness will help him and others around him for the future. People should find it eventually in their hearts to forgive or the harboured pain will eat you alive.
Angelina

Lawson, MO

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#6
Oct 14, 2010
 

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I've known Aaron for many many a years, he has not been that man just as he promised. He has been getting the therapy he needed from the moment he left the war zone. Aaron is a man of his word, and some people should realize the whole story before passing judgements on my friend. He is our familys hero and we love him just the way he is.
Angela

Cartersville, GA

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#8
Dec 2, 2011
 
He's off the hook now.. Probation is done, and he didn't go to prison.. Last time I checked, I thought that the purpose of probation was to keep tabs on someone who had done wrong, and make sure they don't do it again.. Aaron got caught with alcohol many times while he was on probation, and still roamed the streets.. The man should have gone to prison a long time ago. Clearly he has a problem if he can't stay away from alcohol while he is on probation, and according to him, what led him to do this terrible act to begin with.. He is however, a registered sex offender.. I am very pleased with this new law that requires him to register, as at least the people in this case will have some sort of closure knowing that it will be difficult to find jobs/ homes, etc.. The judgments made on your "friend" is that he took the innocence of a young girl, that she can never get back.. He should be punished for that! This girl will remember what happened every single day for the rest of her life, and that will NEVER change. You have NO idea what this girl went through, and due to all of the violations, aaron clearly hasn't resolved his issues..
ok angela

Bronx, NY

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#9
Dec 8, 2011
 
let's hear the whole story than
Elizabeth Lancaster CA

Monett, MO

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#10
Dec 8, 2011
 

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the whole story is there is a monster inside that man and he will never be ok untill he faces that monster. the good man shows through to so many people but the victims are the ones he hurts when this monster induced by his drinking come out to prey. his therapy did nothing for this man of honor because he never took it all the way to the end. hes a Marine who happens to be a quitter and the one thing that could have saved the innocents of many. I too once called this man my friend and I seen first hand the honorable man and the monster that lives inside of him. I can only pray that he can see where the actions of taking that drink leads to horrible horrible things. he has had many violations while on parole and can convince even the smartest of people that hes the real victim. I believe he is the victim of himself and mental heath would be the only answer. should never be able to explain away hurting a child EVER!! if you know or even think that you could have done that while drinking that alone should be the reason you never take another drink of beer or whiskey!
Merlot

Kent, WA

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#11
Mar 3, 2013
 

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You people speak like he see's little girls and can't help himself. He see's a pretty girl and I'm sure all the same stuff goes through his head that does every other man. The issue is the girl in that apartment didn't have her age stamped on her forehead not that rape is ok but "child molester" takes it a bit far. Next add unresolved issues, PTSD, and extreme alcohol use. There are never good judgment calls made when you put it all together. As for the girl it is horrible what happened to her. I myself have been raped. I feel it is unfair to say she will live with it every day of her life... At some point people move on, they forgive, they let go, they stop making excuses and they live for themselves and love. It isn't fair to bash Aaron for feelin like the victim, and then go out of our way to make this girl one too as we can all see what that does to a person. I read all of this crap several years back, Aaron was and still is a dear friend, the man he was before the war he is not now and the man that was out of control in this case wasn't him and isn't him now either. I think people should mind their own business in matters especially when they hear snippets of story's or the only bad story. Aaron has to Stand before God one day just like the rest of us and he will be questioned for every white lie and every count of sin he has committed, just like us, and it is all the same to God. He has been forgiven, he is a good man, yes he still has some things to work on but we are all works in progress. The gossip and dramatizing should stop.

Since: Feb 13

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#13
Mar 7, 2013
 

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I concur with both Elizabeth & Merlot & found their comments to be very profound. Mr. Wintterle was a war hero & is deserving of our respect; however, he has failed us as a law abiding citizen in our society. There is no excuse for what he did & I'm in no way offering any. For any man to harm a woman is just wrong on so many levels. They are not men, but monsters. Aaron was wrong & now must pay for what he has done. As part of his sentence, he should have to confront the monster within him so that it will never hurt another person again. As for judging him, no one on this Earth is qualified to cast the first stone. We ALL have demons & skeletons in our closet because we were born with free will. Our decisions in life, good & bad, disqualifies us from judging others. We can express observations & suggest help, but not throw stones.
Troy

Springfield, MO

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#14
Mar 14, 2013
 

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LMAO Too many millitary get the pass because of service!!!!! This guy was a Hero now he is a pedophile!!!!. No diff than the neighbor doing the same thing. Wake up and get off the hero BS , he is and was convicted of being pedophile. Disgusting and it shoudnt matter what his service was!!!
bic

United States

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#15
Apr 4, 2013
 
Aaron I'm shocked at all of this.i never knew and I'm having his kid in a few months a little girl ugh hes a great guy i cant say about his actions in the past but he would never do that today
IEK

Republic, MO

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#16
Aug 24, 2013
 
To the girl that wrote the last comment I had no idea either about him. So shocking for real! I would really like to know who you are. I'm in the same position as you. Ive had his baby too and I really want to know how to get some help. Ugh I cant even find him.
unknown

Ashburn, VA

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#17
Aug 25, 2013
 

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To all you people defending this "hero", I wonder if you would feel the same if it was your little girl that he molested? Would you be so forgiving then? Would you still let this monster come into your home and have dinner with your daughter, who's innocents he has stolen?
good job

Springfield, MO

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#18
Aug 25, 2013
 

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Troy wrote:
LMAO Too many millitary get the pass because of service!!!!! This guy was a Hero now he is a pedophile!!!!. No diff than the neighbor doing the same thing. Wake up and get off the hero BS , he is and was convicted of being pedophile. Disgusting and it shoudnt matter what his service was!!!
I don't know this case but I agree with the content of this post. nobody owes anyone in the military shit except for maybe the armed forces themselves. Its not like people who are in do it for free. They get paid pretty damned well these days. Its another job to me, and anyone who joins should know what risks could be involved. By the way, I was in the service myself, but so what? Doesn't matter and I'm ok with that.
Kate

Marietta, GA

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#19
Jan 11, 2014
 
bic wrote:
Aaron I'm shocked at all of this.i never knew and I'm having his kid in a few months a little girl ugh hes a great guy i cant say about his actions in the past but he would never do that today
You're not the first to have his kid, and you're not the first that he's lied to. If he was an honest man, he would have told you about his past.. This just goes to show that he is EXACTLY the same person today that he was in 2004. I pray that one day he finally gets what he deserves.
Kake

Fayetteville, AR

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#20
Mar 30, 2014
 
He isn't trying. I know him too. I did know about his criminal history, but I so know about his anger isaues and alcohol and drug problems, using females like they're disposable. He talks great soldier talk, and even can talk the recovery talk. After reading all this, makes me think he's a really scary sociopath.

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