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You are here News Military US soldier pleads guilty to murder in Iraq

US soldier pleads guilty to murder in Iraq

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guilty plea in Iraq killingsA U.S. soldier on Monday pleaded guilty to murder for shooting dead five fellow servicemen at a military counseling center in Iraq in a plea deal with military prosecutors to avoid the death penalty.

U.S. Army Sergeant John Russell was accused of killing two medical staff officers and three soldiers at Camp Liberty, adjacent to the Baghdad airport, in a 2009 shooting that the military said at the time could have been triggered by combat stress.

Russell pleaded guilty at a hearing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state to five counts of intentional murder, one count of attempted murder, and one count of assault.

His lawyers made the agreement with U.S. Army prosecutors to plead guilty so Russell could avoid capital punishment.

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