Jury convicts soldier who said diet made him kill

AP News
Posted: Jul 28, 2011 6:51 PM
Jury convicts soldier who said diet made him kill

A military jury has convicted a Georgia soldier who argued that he killed a superior in the Army Reserve because he was delirious from a crash diet.

The jury of five soldiers convicted 30-year-old Staff Sgt. Rashad Valmont on Thursday of premeditated murder in the June 2010 slaying of Master Sgt. Pedro Mercado. Both men served at Fort Gillem outside Atlanta, but Valmont's court-martial was conducted at Fort Stewart in southeast Georgia.

Valmont's attorneys acknowledged he shot Mercado, a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, six times in his office. But they argued Valmont was delirious from not eating after a different supervisor days earlier ordered him to shed 3 percent of his body fat in a hurry.

Valmont gets an automatic life sentence. Jurors will decide if he can later be eligible for parole.