Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

US soldier gets more than 12 years in detainee death

FORT CARSON, Colo. — A mentally ill U.S. soldier has been sentenced to 12 ½ years in military prison after pleading guilty to killing a suspected Taliban member while he was sleeping in his jail cell.

Pfc. David Lawrence pleaded guilty to premeditated murder in a military court at Fort Carson in Colorado on Wednesday. The judge also told him he would be dishonorably discharged from the Army and be demoted by one rank.

After learning his sentence, Lawrence leaned over the railing and said “Love you” to his father.

Army doctors concluded that he had schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder at the time of the shooting.

Lawrence’s lawyer, James Culp, said he pleaded guilty in exchange for a reduced prison term.

He could have faced up to life in prison or execution.