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Army Sgt. Pleads Guilty to Fatal Iraq Shootings

3:38 PM, Apr 22, 2013   |    comments
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JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. (AP) - An Army sergeant has pleaded guilty to killing four other soldiers and a Navy officer in 2009 at mental health clinic in Baghdad during the Iraq War.

Monday's plea at a military court at Joint Base Lewis-McChord means Sgt. John Russell will avoid the death sentence. His maximum sentence would be a life term.

Russell went on a shooting spree at the Camp Liberty Combat Stress Center near Baghdad in May 2009. According to witnesses, he tried to surrender to military police beforehand, saying he feared he's hurt someone.

The Tacoma News Tribune reports Russell entered his plea while flanked by his two military defense attorneys and his civilian lawyer.

Family members of Russell's victims also are in court to observe the hearing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 

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