May 22, 2011 5:43 PM by AP Posted by James H Egbert

Lawyer: Soldier to plead guilty in detainee death

DENVER (AP) - The lawyer for a mentally ill U.S. soldier accused of killing an Afghan detainee says the soldier will plead guilty to murder in exchange for a substantially reduced prison term.

Attorney James Culp said Sunday that Pfc. David Lawrence of Lawrenceburg, Ind., will enter his plea Wednesday.

Army doctors say Lawrence was mentally ill and didn't realize his conduct was wrong when he allegedly shot and killed a suspected Taliban member jailed by the U.S. in Afghanistan in October.

The Army decided to prosecute Lawrence anyway, saying he was capable of participating in his defense.

Lawrence could have faced execution or life in prison. Culp declined to say how long a prison term the plea agreement calls for.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)



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