Thursday, September 22, 2011

UPDATE: Judge Accepts Holmes' Guilty Plea

Posted By on Thu, Sep 22, 2011 at 5:43 PM

UPDATE Sept. 22, 5:10 p.m.
Army Judge Lt. Col. Kwasi Hawks has accepted Pfc. Andrew Holmes plea of guilty to murder through inherently dangerous conduct in connection with the slaying of an Afghan civilian in Kandahar Province in January 2010. Holmes also pleaded guilty to smoking marijuana during his deployment and possessing a human finger taken from a corpse.

For the first time, Holmes this morning told a courtroom at Joint Base Lewis-McChord admitted that he shot the Afghan civilian when his team leader, Spc. Jeremy Morlock, ordered him to fire. Holmes said the victim was "clearly unarmed. I could see his hands were empty. I fired six to eight rounds at the man, and I've regretted it ever since."

Holmes will face sentencing Friday.


Pfc. Andrew Holmes of Boise told a military judge today that he knew that when he fired his weapon on Jan. 15, 2009, that his victim, an Afghan civilian, was probably innocent. Holmes said he fired his machine gun after a fellow solider, Spc. Jeremy Morlock, threw a grenade at the civilian. Holmes said he regretted the shooting and pleaded guilty to unpremeditated murder.

But Lt. Col. Kwasi Hawks, serving as judge at the hearing taking place at Joint Base Lewis-McChord outside of Seattle, said he wasn't immediately sure he would accept Holmes' plea.

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