US Army private admits murdering Taliban detainee

May 26, 2011 03:02

DENVER - A US Army private deemed mentally ill by psychiatrists was sentenced to 12 1/2 years in prison on Wednesday after pleading guilty to murdering a Taliban commander who was shackled inside a jail cell in Afghanistan last October.

Private First Class David Lawrence, 20, was demoted, dishonorably discharged and sent to prison after the hearing at Fort Carson, Colorado, a base spokeswoman said.

Lawrence was court-martialed for killing Mullah Mohebullah with his M-4 rifle as the detainee was confined to a cell in Arghandab, Afghanistan, on Oct. 17, 2010.

Lawrence said in open court he shot dead Mohebullah to avenge the killing six weeks earlier of an Army chaplain and other soldiers in his unit in Kandahar province.

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