Monday, May 13, 2013

U.S. soldier John Russell acted with premeditation in killing comrades in Iraq: judge

A U.S. soldier who pleaded guilty to killing five fellow servicemen at a combat stress clinic in Iraq acted with premeditation in the shooting spree, a military judge ruled on Monday.

U.S. Army Sergeant John Russell pleaded guilty last month to killing two medical staff officers and three soldiers at Camp Liberty in Baghdad in a 2009 shooting the military has said could have been triggered by combat stress.

Russell faced an abbreviated court-martial at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state to determine the level of his guilt. A military judge was to determine whether Russell acted with premeditation, as prosecutors said, or on impulse, as the defense argued.