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Soldier Sentenced to Three Years for Murder of Iraqi Civilian

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 11, 2004 – A Task Force Baghdad soldier was sentenced Dec. 10 to three years in prison after pleading guilty to murdering an Iraqi civilian, military officials in Baghdad, Iraq, reported today.

Staff Sgt. Johnny M. Horne plead guilty to one specification of murder in violation of Article 118 and one specification of conspiracy to commit murder in violation of Article 81 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Horne will be reduced to the rank of private, forfeit all pay, and receive a dishonorable discharge from the military.

A panel of seven senior servicemembers passed down the sentence after hearing testimony from the prosecution and the defense. The jury deliberated approximately four hours before reaching their decision, officials said.

The convictions stemmed from Horne's murder of a severely wounded Iraqi civilian in Baghdad's Sadr City district on Aug. 18.

In other news from Iraq, insurgents ambushed a group of U.S. Marines near the Ar Ramadi General Hospital and Medical College Dec. 10. There were no casualties in the attack.

Military officials said insurgents turned off all the lights in and around the hospital as the Marines approached. Then, as the lights were turned back on, they attacked using rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire.

Military officials said the Marines pushed through the ambush and returned fire. The Marines are planning to return to speak with hospital administrators as well as to assess and investigate the events, military officials said.

Elsewhere, Army soldiers from the 1st Infantry Division detained a suspected bomb maker for questioning on Dec. 11 at about 5:40 a.m. near Bayji. Military officials said the man is also suspected of providing support for foreign fighters in the area.

Also, troops from the 1st Marine Division of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force conducted a controlled detonation of a large weapons cache in the Ramadi suburb of Sofia late Dec. 10. The weapons cache had been seized by multinational forces during a recent patrol of the area. Military officials said warnings had been broadcast alerting citizens to the controlled detonation. There were no injuries reported.

(Based on Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

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