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Boise 'kill team' soldier sentenced to seven years

Northwest News Network
Forest Holmes, left, talks with reporters about his son's seven year sentence for war crimes as defense attorney Dan Conway looks on.

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – A young Army private from Boise has been sentenced to a maximum of seven years in a military prison for murder and other crimes while deployed to Afghanistan. Private First Class Andrew Holmes admitted to shooting an unarmed 15-year-old Afghan boy.

Prosecutors say the killing was staged to make it look like Holmes and his team leader, Jeremy Morlock, were under attack. After the sentencing, Holmes' father Forest said his son has the chance now to rehabilitate himself.

"Andy has a lot of remorse for what he did," he said. "He had a very short amount of time to make a life-changing decision, he regrets the decision he made but he made that decision and he's owned up to his responsibility for that."

The judge in the case at first sentenced Holmes to 15 years, but his time behind bars is capped at seven years because of a deal with prosecutors. Holmes will also get a dishonorable discharge from the Army.

His team leader, Morlock, previously pleaded guilty to three murders. A total of five Washington-based soldiers were charged in connection with killing unarmed civilians while deployed in 2010.

Copyright 2011 Northwest News Network

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy as well as the Washington State legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia." Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Austin worked as a television reporter in Seattle, Portland and Boise. Austin is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. Austin’s reporting has been recognized with awards from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the Society of Professional Journalists.