William Earl Cunningham guilty of Marine vet’s murder

| March 29, 2015


The Army Times brings us up-to-date on the murder trial of William Earl Cunningham, the Vietnam Era jump-qualified carpenter who murdered Marine veteran Nathan Horn in Montana when they disagreed about whether the Army or the Marines were the better service. Police say that the facts of the case didn’t support Cunningham’s version of events – that he killed Horn in self-defense;

Deputy Yellowstone County Attorney Christopher Morris told jurors during closing arguments Friday the facts do not support Cunningham’s story that the two men were standing up when Horn’s throat was cut.

“There would have been arterial spurting, it would have covered the shirt of Mr. Cunningham,” Morris said. “There is zero evidence that that occurred.”

So, the jury found him guilty of deliberate homicide. If you remember, Cunningham claimed that he reacted the way that he did because of his Army training;

During the conversation late Saturday, the men argued again and Cunningham said Horn “jumped up and took a swing” at him.

Cunningham pushed Horn back, court records state.

“Then I cut him,” Cunningham allegedly said. “I did what the Army taught me to do.”

Yeah, well, I’m pretty sure that they didn’t teach him to react like that during his training to be a carpenter more than forty years ago;

William Cunningham FOIA

William Cunningham Assignments2

William Cunningham Assignments

Police say that he has been a convicted violent felon for decades – the Army had nothing to do with that.

Category: Crime

Comments (15)

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  1. Hondo says:

    Murdering bastard. Hope he gets life.

  2. OWB says:

    That’s taking inter service rivalry waaaaay too far.

  3. Thunderstixx says:

    We can only hope that he becomes someone’s prison bitch…
    Life without parole would be good.
    Then he would die a slow painful death remembered by no one and only given a number on his grave marker at a prison cemetery…
    That would be a fitting punishment for this prick…

  4. CLAW131 says:

    I think this turd and I went to Basic in the same company at the same time.

    Info all matches up. Same dates,places, and unit at Fort Campbell..

    There is a William Cunningham listed and pictured in my BT Book, but it would probably take a forensic age progression (19 to 63 years of age) expert to confirm it. But I’m betting at least a 95% possibility it is him.

    He wasn’t in 1st Platoon with me, so no personal knowledge as to Home of Record, etc.

    Regardless, I hope this homicidal SOB gets the stiffest sentence possible.

  5. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    The cutting happened “during a drunken argument over which branch of the military was better.” Drunken argument. The two reportedly were at it for two days. One look at Cunningham’s mug tells me he is a drunk. Whether the other guy was, I don’t know. It doesn’t change anything but this, I suspect, is one of those instances in which drunkenness played a major role.

  6. Semper Idem says:

    As a perennial civilian, I have no authoritative voice on military matters. I respect this. I comment here solely for the purpose of being corrected if I am in error.

    I have come to infer that the whole interservice rivalry thing was just good-natured fun. The Army and the Marines might call each other names, but when shit gets real, they forget all that and fight together as American troops. Is this correct?

    Thank you in advance for whatever response you feel inclined to give. ;o)

    • Just an Old Dog says:

      Generally. you might see a few boots with under 6 months scrap over “bragging rights”. Anyone who has been around a while and especially veterans respect the other services as they realize there are different missions. There may be some good natured( but harsh) jibes, but thats it.

  7. inbredredneck says:

    As an 11Bravo from many years ago, I’ve nothin’ but the utmost respect for any and all Jarheads, Squids and ‘pellerheads who’ve ever served. Hell, I don’t even discriminate against Coasties. Thanks to all who’ve ever taken that step forward and raised their right hands.
    This guy. however, stepped on his crank with golf shoes. May he never see sunlight again.

  8. Bill R says:

    Hulk Hogan really let himself go, didn’t he?

    • Carlton G. Long says:

      Beat me to it.

      Message to all inmates:

      Whatcha gonna do when Hulkamania runs wild on you??

  9. streetsweeper says:

    I’ve seen fistfights over inter-service rivalries but never have I seen it go this far. Cunningham’s and Horn’s prior run-in’s with the LE community speaks in loud volume’s.

  10. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    Nice pull, streetsweeper. The “victim” was as much or more of a dirtball as the slicer. This was a twofer and, sure enough, both were career drunks and/or druggies.

  11. MCPO NYC USN Ret. says:

    This story is a heart-warming tale of two scumbags being rewarded for their actions.

    The worst I have ever done upon meeting a brother or sister from another service is a handshake (with thank you), funny joke and or perhaps a healthy libation.

    But what do I know?

  12. JohnE says:

    I never have truly understood when the inter service rivalry goes all Cane and Abel like this. I little inter service rivalry is good, healthy even, just like sibling rivalry. But too much is just that, too much. Sad story on a couple different levels here…

  13. D says:

    He got 80 years for this. See here: http://militari.ly/1S4ZpHi