Wed, Oct 28, 2015 - Page 7 News List

Soldier jailed for thrill killing released from prison

AP, BOISE, Idaho

An Idaho soldier has been released from prison four years after he admitted shooting an unarmed Afghan boy for sport and posing for photographs with the victim’s corpse as part of what prosecutors described as a series of thrill killings by a rogue group of US troops.

Andrew Holmes, 25, on Sunday evening left Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and flew home to the Boise Airport, where he was greeted by dozens of friends and relatives.

His mother, Dana Holmes, told KTVB-TV that his relatives are “grateful to have him home and look forward to having this chapter of our lives closed.”

Holmes was one of five soldiers from a Washington state-based Stryker brigade who were arrested in Afghanistan in 2010 in what prosecutors described as a conspiracy to kill civilians for fun.

After the first killing, one of Holmes’ fellow soldiers tried to blow the whistle on the plot, but the warnings went unheeded and the soldiers murdered two more civilians over the next few months.

The killings, in Kandahar Province, were among the most serious war crime allegations of the Afghanistan war.

Holmes was accused of directly participating in the first killing, of a 15-year-old boy named Gul Mudin, and he was initially charged with conspiracy, premeditated murder and other charges before making a deal with prosecutors.

He pleaded guilty in September 2011 to committing murder by an inherently dangerous act, possessing a finger bone from his victim and smoking hashish, and a judge sentenced him to seven years.

He told the court the victim had posed no threat to the soldiers.

This story has been viewed 1439 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top