SEATTLE (AP) — The lawyer for a sergeant charged with killing four other soldiers and a Navy officer in May 2009 at a mental health clinic in Iraq says it should not be a death penalty case.
Attorney James Culp said Monday that Sgt. John Russell has no memory of being inside the Camp Liberty Combat Stress Center near Baghdad in May 2009. Culp says he believes Russell went to the clinic to commit suicide.
The lawyer from Austin, Texas, says Russell’s lack of memory is an obstacle to the defense at his court martial.
Five pre-meditated murder charges were filed Wednesday against Russell. The 47-year-old from Sherman, Texas, will be tried at the Puget Sound base because he was assigned to a Lewis-McChord unit at the time of the killings.