Sweetwater Solider Convicted of Negligent Homicide

Fort Campbell, Ky. (AP) -- A jury has found a 101st Airborne soldier guilty of three county of negligent homicide in the deaths of three Iraqi detainees.

After four hours of deliberating, the panel returned the verdict late last night in the court-martial of Staff Sergeant Ray Girouard.

The panel could have found him guilty on the more serious charges of premeditated murder.

Several soldiers that had been under Girouard's command testified that he ordered them during a raid on a suspected insurgent camp to cut loose three detainees, then shoot them as they fled.

The 24-year-old Girouard was also found guilty of obstruction of justice for lying to investigators and a conspiracy charge for trying to conceal the crime.

A negligent homicide charge carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison.

Girouard could have faced a maximum sentence of life without the possibility of parole if he had been convicted on premeditated murder charges.

Jurors are scheduled to begin the sentencing phase of the court-martial Monday morning.

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