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A U.S. soldier was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Monday after a court-martial found him guilty of killing three Iraqi detainees who were freed and told to run before being shot, officials at Fort Campbell in Kentucky said.

Sgt. Raymond Girouard, 24, of Sweetwater, Tennessee, had been charged with premeditated murder and other offenses that could have drawn a life sentence; but the military jury hearing his case convicted him on Friday of negligent homicide, a lesser offense.

Monday's sentence is subject to review by the commanding general at the post, and he could be paroled after serving about a third of the 10-year sentence, a spokesman said.

Girouard led a squad in May 2006 during a raid on a suspected insurgent camp near Thar Thar lake, southwest of Tikrit, when the killings occurred.

Three other soldiers under his command who were also charged with the deaths made plea agreements earlier and have been sentenced. Two received 18-year prison sentences and a third got nine months in jail.

The three had said Girouard ordered them to shoot the men. He had said he was under orders to kill all men of military age but denied ordering the slayings.

During an August hearing in Iraq that led to the charges, a witness testified he saw the prisoners trying to run away at full sprint, some with their blindfolds down, when they were shot.

The case is one of a number from the Iraq war in which U.S. military personnel were accused of crimes against Iraqi civilians.


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