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US Soldier to Plead Guilty in Iraqi Rape-Murder Case


A U.S. soldier will plead guilty Wednesday in connection with the rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and the killings of three members of her family in March of this year.

Specialist James P. Barker will plead guilty on several charges, including rape, murder and arson, before a military court in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He is the first soldier accused in the case to publicly take responsibility for the attack.

His lawyers say in addition to his guilty plea, he will also testify against other soldiers involved in the crime, in exchange for avoiding a possible death sentence. Barker could end up serving life in prison.

Four other members of Barker's company have been implicated in the attack, which occurred in the town of Mahmudiyah.

One of the suspects, Steven D. Green, has been charged with rape and murder in a U.S. federal court. He was discharged from the U.S. Army in May. He is alleged to have conceived the plot to rape and murder the girl and kill her parents and young sister.