Army trims soldier's sentence in detainee death

AP News
Posted: Oct 20, 2011 10:31 PM
Army trims soldier's sentence in detainee death

The Army has cut 2 1/2 years off the 12 1/2-year prison sentence of a soldier with mental health problems who pleaded guilty to killing a captured Taliban suspect in Afghanistan.

The decision came Thursday after a clemency plea by Pfc. David Lawrence's attorney.

The attorney says Lawrence now could be released after about eight years with time off for good behavior.

Lawrence was assigned to Fort Carson, Colo., when he was accused of fatally shooting the prisoner in a jail cell on Oct. 17, 2010. He pleaded guilty to premeditated murder on May 25.

Lawrence received conflicting assessments of his mental problems. One found he had schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder. Another found no severe mental illness.

His father says Lawrence is on medication for hallucinations and hearing voices.