US Soldier Pleads Guilty to Murdering 5 Fellow Troops
Plea deal will allow Sgt. John Russell to avoid capital punishment
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Apr 22, 2013 4:05 PM CDT
The family of Sgt. Christian Bueno-Galdos, who was among those gunned down by a John Russell in a clinic in Iraq, receive condolences at their New Jersey home in this May 13, 2009 file photo.   (AP Photo/Mike Derer)

(Newser) – US Army Sgt. John Russell pleaded guilty today to intentionally murdering five fellow servicemen and women in Iraq in 2009, as part of a deal that will allow him to avoid the death penalty. The judge hasn't decided whether or not to accept the plea deal yet, though he did immediately grant Russell's request to be tried before a judge alone, Reuters reports.

Russell plead guilty to five counts of intentional murder, one count of attempted murder, and one count of assault. Even if the judge accepts the plea, Russell will have to be tried to determine the degree of his guilt. At issue is whether he planned the killings or "whether he snapped and killed these people out of rage that was linked to his own personal despair," his civilian lawyer explained. If the murders were planned, Russell could be convicted on the more serious charge of premeditated murder.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
US Soldier Pleads Guilty to Murdering 5 Fellow Troops is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 47 comments
Apr 23, 2013 10:10 AM CDT
deal you give this scum a deal is he a muslim? hang him!!
Apr 23, 2013 3:14 AM CDT
If he was Muslim, this story would be getting WAY more press.
Apr 22, 2013 10:44 PM CDT
Another Hispanic killing our servicemen. 0bama will probably call these murders "workplace violence" too, and acquit him of all criminal and military crimes. That's why he was granted a bench trial, so no jurors can override his decision. This country has already gone to hell, with 0bama as the Great Satan.