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Soldier gets life in 1995 Ft. Bragg sniper attack

Sgt. William J. Kreutzer apologizes for killing one comrade and wounding 18 at the North Carolina Army base. He had earlier been sentenced to death.

March 25, 2009|Associated Press

FT. BRAGG, N.C. — A onetime Army paratrooper was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison for killing a fellow soldier and wounding nearly 20 others in a sniper attack at this North Carolina base more than a decade ago.

The sentence had been expected since Sgt. William J. Kreutzer, 39, of Clinton, Md., pleaded guilty earlier this month to one charge of premeditated murder and 18 other charges to avoid a possible death sentence.

Kreutzer apologized in a two-page statement read by his attorney during the sentencing hearing, offering his "most heartfelt, sincere apology."

"Words are inadequate to express the deep sense of shame and remorse that I feel for the harm that I caused," his statement said.

Kreutzer's victims were preparing for a morning run on Oct. 27, 1995, at the massive Ft. Bragg Army base when he opened fire with a rifle from a concealed position.

He hit and wounded 16 soldiers from the division's 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment as they left an athletic field. He shot three other soldiers who tried to stop him, wounding two and killing Maj. Stephen Badger.

Badger's widow, Dianne Badger of Lehi, Utah, told the court that as much as she misses her husband, she forgives Kreutzer for his crimes.

"I forgave him years ago and I still have that forgiveness today," she said. "I pray for him."

Kreutzer was originally convicted and sentenced to death in 1996, but a military appeals court overturned the sentence after concluding that his defense lawyers provided ineffective counsel.

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