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U.S. soldier killed Iraqi teen after having sex (14651)


U.S. soldier killed Iraqi teen after having sex

A U.S. National Guardsman who pleaded guilty to killing a 17-year-old Iraqi said he shot the young man 11 times after they had sex in a guard tower, a North Carolina newspaper reports, citing court-martial records.

Pvt. Federico Daniel Merida, 21, pleaded guilty to murder without premeditation and other charges during a court-martial in Iraq in September. Merida was sentenced September 25 to 25 years in prison, received a reduction in rank, and will be dishonorably discharged. He is being held at the U.S. military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., a Leavenworth spokeswoman said.

U.S. army officials at Forward Operating Base Danger, where the court-martial was held in Iraq, had withheld details of the case. However, The [Raleigh, N.C.,] News & Observer reported over the weekend that records said Merida and the Iraqi were on guard duty May 11 in a tower on the perimeter of an army camp near Tikrit in northern Iraq. At about 10:30 p.m. local time, Merida shot the teen 11 times with his carbine.

Merida first told investigators the teen demanded money at gunpoint. Later he said he killed the boy because he forced him to have sex. In a third interview Merida said he was angry after the two had consensual sex. Merida also pleaded guilty to two counts of giving false statements. Merida apologized to the victim's family during the court-martial, records said. "He was a son, a brother, someone very important to them," Merida said. "I took someone they loved and cared for." Merida, who was born in Veracruz, Mexico, has a wife and son. He was a member of the 113th Field Artillery Battalion's Battery B, based in Monroe, N.C.

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