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THE CONFLICT IN IRAQ

U.S. Soldier Sentenced in Slaying

September 26, 2004|From a Times Staff Writer

BAGHDAD — A U.S. Army soldier who was court-martialed has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for the murder of an Iraqi national guardsman, the military announced late Saturday.

Spc. Federico Merida pleaded guilty to murder and making false official statements, the Army said.

The Army released no other details about the case, which appeared to have not been previously publicized.

The slaying occurred in May at an Army base near Tikrit, the Army statement said. U.S. forces train Iraqi national guardsmen, police and other security services on U.S.-run bases throughout Iraq.

Along with his 25-year sentence, Merida received a dishonorable discharge and a reduction in rank to private.

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