US soldier gets 24 years for Afghan killings
US soldier Jeremy Morlock has pleaded guilty to targeting Afghan civilians for execution, under a plea bargain for his part in a rogue “killing squad” in Afghanistan.
Corporal Jeremy Morlock who is set to testify against four co-accused, admitted to murdering or helping to kill three men in southern Afghanistan. The accused allegedly planted Afghan weapons on their victims to make them appear as enemy combatants.
Under a plea bargain revealed in court, Morlock avoids life imprisonment and will be eligible for parole after seven years.
At the trial in Tacoma, in the state of Washington, Morlock explained how he formed a “killing squad” in Afghanistan with four other soldiers and collected gruesome trophies including bones from dead Afghans. The plot was first hatched in November 2009 he says.
Morlock alleged US Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs was the group’s ringleader and encouraged soldiers to kill Afghan civilians and disguise their murders.
The group also allegedly assaulted another soldier who blew the whistle on the unit's drug use and violence.
Attorneys for the other accused soldiers have been arguing that Morlock is mentally unstable and an unreliable witness.
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