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US Soldier to Plead Guilty to Afghan Civilian Murders

In this courtroom sketch, U.S. Army Cpl. Jeremy Morlock of Wasilla, Alaska, center, is shown as Col. Thomas Molloy, right, the investigating officer, and Morlock's attorney, Michael Waddington, left, look on, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, Septe

A U.S. soldier faces a court martial in Washington state on charges of murdering Afghan civilians.

A lawyer for 22-year-old Army Specialist Jeremy Morlock said his client has agreed to plead guilty to three counts of murder, one count of conspiracy to commit assault and battery, and one count of illegal drug use.

He faces a maximum of 24 years in prison with the possibility of parole.

Morlock is one of five soldiers charged with murdering three civilians in Kandahar province last year as part of a plot to kill civilians. He is expected to testify against the other soldiers.

The court martial comes days after the German news magazine Der Spiegel published graphic photos showing soldiers posing and smiling over the bodies of dead civilians.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.