Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sgt. found guilty in 2008 Iraq deaths

The Associated Press
Posted : Wednesday May 25, 2011 13:41:23 EDT
FORT STEWART, Ga. — An Army sergeant was found guilty on Wednesday of two counts of premeditated murder in the 2008 slayings of his squad leader and another U.S. soldier at a patrol base in Iraq, but he was spared the death penalty when the military jury didn’t return a unanimous verdict.

Sgt. Joseph Bozicevich of Minneapolis now faces a sentence of life in prison, either with or without the possibility of parole. The death penalty is an option in a court-martial only when there’s a unanimous guilty verdict for premeditated murder. The 12-member jury at Fort Stewart did not report exactly how it was split when it announced its verdict.

Bozicevich, 41, admitted during the trial that he shot Staff Sgt. Darris Dawson of Pensacola, Fla., and Sgt. Wesley Durbin of Dallas at a patrol base outside Baghdad on Sept. 14, 2008, after they criticized him for making mistakes in an unforgiving war zone. But he testified that he only opened fire because the two soldiers aimed rifles at his head and threatened to kill him if he didn’t sign off on their written reports about him.

Read the entire story here.

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