Second Soldier Jailed For Afghan Homicides

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JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash., Aug. 7 (UPI) — The second of five U.S. soldiers accused of killing Afghan citizens began serving a three-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to reduced charges.

In a plea agreement, prosecutors reduced the original charge of premeditated murder to involuntary manslaughter for 23-year-old Army specialist Adam Winfield at his military trial at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington, ABC News reported.

Winfield agreed to plead guilty and will testify in coming trials against three other members of his unit accused of killing civilians in Afghanistan between January and May last year.

In addition to his jail sentence, Winfield was demoted to private and will be given a bad-conduct discharge after his prison term, the report said.

In March, Pvt. Jeremy Morlock pleaded guilty to three counts of premeditated murder and was given a 24-year prison sentence. He and Winfield both allege their squad leader, Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs, encouraged them to select victims and then kill them, The (Tacoma, Wash.) News Tribune reported.

At his trial Friday, Winfield said he regretted not alerting senior officers about Gibbs’ activities and said Gibbs had threatened to kill him if he spoke up, the newspaper said.

Gibbs’ court-martial is scheduled to begin in October.

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