Carl Prine
MRE member Carl Prine

An Army paratrooper’s crude attempt to stymie a newspaper investigation caused him more trouble than his questionable shooting of two Iraqi cattle herders seven years ago.

Sgt. 1st Class Michael Barbera, who once faced life in prison on charges that he murdered two noncombatants, on Thursday was demoted one rank for threatening the wife of the reporter who investigated Barbera’s role in a blown reconnaissance mission that led to the deaths of three Iraqis.