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Soldier accused in 2009 shooting at Iraq stress clinic still being evaluated

BAMBERG, Germany — Sgt. John M. Russell, charged with premeditated murder and aggravated assault in connection with the 2009 shooting at a Camp Liberty, Iraq, combat stress clinic that left five soldiers dead, still is under medical evaluation to see whether he is fit to stand trial, military officials overseeing the case said Thursday.

The Staff Judge Advocate’s office at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, which represents I Corps, confirmed that Russell, who was deployed with the 54th Engineer Battalion out of Bamberg at the time of the shooting, remains at the federal correctional complex in Butner, N.C., where he is undergoing medical evaluation.

“Based on recommendations from the Butner facility, a board will convene to reassess his competency to stand trial,” Joe Piek, a spokesman for Lewis-McChord, wrote in an e-mail. The board proceeding has not been scheduled, he added.

The board will determine whether the case will move to an Article 32 investigative hearing, Piek wrote.

Russell also has been charged with stealing a weapon in connection with the shootings.

bottenbergerd@estripes.osd.mil

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