US soldier pleads guilty in Afghan plot

A US soldier among five troops accused in a plot to kill Afghan civilians for sport is pleading guilty to unpremeditated murder.

Private 1st Class Andrew Holmes was accused of taking part in the first of three killings by Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldiers early last year.

One of the acknowledged leaders of the plan, Spc Jeremy Morlock, says Holmes deliberately took part in that killing, though little or no evidence emerged to corroborate Morlock’s account. And one witness has claimed that Morlock acknowledged fabricating the allegations against Holmes.

Morlock pleaded guilty this year and agreed to testify against his co-defendants in exchange for a 24-year sentence.

A judge was considering whether to accept Holmes’ plea on Thursday. It wasn’t immediately clear what sentence he might face.

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