VICENZA, Italy — A soldier stationed with the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment was found guilty in a general court-martial Thursday on several charges, including assault and taking a pair of confiscated handguns when he returned from his deployment to Iraq.
Spc. Bradley Morris, assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, was sentenced to three years in prison with forfeiture of all pay and allowances, reduction in rank to E-1 and a bad-conduct discharge, according to the Southern European Task Force (Airborne) public affairs office.
Morris pleaded guilty to larceny for taking the two handguns out of country, violating a U.S. Army Europe regulation against carrying knives more than 3 inches in length, and assault by offer.
He was arrested by Italian authorities in Milan on May 30 after an altercation with an Italian national during which he brandished a pair of knives, but did not actually use them. Police found the knives and one of the handguns in his possession at the time. He spent 2½ months in Italian custody.
While in custody, he sent a text message from his cell phone to a friend to take evidence from his residence in Vicenza. He then lied to a Criminal Investigation Command officer who interviewed him in Milan about having the other handgun.
The two 9 mm guns had been confiscated near Tikrit, Iraq, in summer 2003 during operations by the 173rd Airborne Brigade, which spent almost a year in country. He shipped them back to Italy in his personal gear.
Morris pleaded not guilty to obstruction of justice and making a false official statement, but was found guilty at the two-day court-martial, which concluded Thursday.