Seattle: A US soldier accused of killing Afghan civilians was sentenced to three years of confinement on Friday after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter in a deal with prosecutors, an Army statement said.
Specialist Adam Winfield was among five members of an infantry unit formerly called the 5th Stryker Brigade initially charged with murder over three Afghan civilian slayings that prosecutors said were staged to look like combat casualties.
Winfield, of Cape Coral, Florida, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and use of a controlled substance during a hearing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Washington, an Army spokesman said.
It was not immediately clear if the plea deal would require Winfield to testify against other defendants in the case. He also saw his rank reduced to private and was ordered discharged for bad conduct.
The man prosecutors say was the ringleader in the killings, Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs, remains in custody and faces a court martial later this year.
Private Jeremy Morlock, 23, was sentenced to 24 years in prison in March after he pleaded guilty to three counts of murder and agreed to testify against his co-defendants.
Private Andrew Holmes was released from pretrial detention in June after an Army judge recommended that the charge against him be reduced to manslaughter.
Specialist Michael Wagnon also has been released from pretrial confinement and awaits a decision on whether his case will be referred to court martial.