A 25th Infantry Division soldier was sentenced Thursday to three years in military prison, reduced in rank to E-1, and will be dishonorably discharged for the shooting of an Iraqi civilian Feb. 28.

Pfc. Edward L. Richmond Jr. of the Hawaii-based 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, was found not guilty of unpremeditated murder but guilty of voluntary manslaughter during a three-day military trial in Tikrit, Iraq.

Richmond could have faced a life sentence if convicted of murder.

A military panel of five officers and five noncommissioned officers spent two hours deliberating before announcing the verdict.

Richmond shot Muhamad Husain Kadir in the head as soldiers were arresting him during a roundup of suspected insurgents near Kirkuk.

Sgt. Jeffrey Waruch, a prosecution witness, testified that Richmond shot the handcuffed Kadir, a cow herder, after he stumbled while being led away by Waruch.

Another prosecution witness testified that he heard Richmond “ask if he could shoot the cow herder well before the call came” to arrest him.

A third soldier testified that Richmond had previously talked about wanting to shoot an Iraqi.

Richmond himself testified that he had “requested to shoot the cow herder less than an hour before the shooting,” and said that he never saw Kadir with a weapon.

However, he also testified that he “did not realize that the Iraqi he shot had his hands flex cuffed behind his back” and feared Kadir was going to kill Waruch.

The Gonzales, La.-native will be moved to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, before being transferred to a military jail to serve his sentence.

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