Wednesday, March 23, 2011

U.S. Soldier Pleads Guilty in Killings of Afghan Civilians

According to CNN, Army Spc. Jeremy Morlock pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges that he intentionally killed Afghan civilians in 2010. During the plea proceedings, the judge asked Morlock if he and his fellow soldiers just meant to scare civilians and it "got out of hand." To this question, Morlock is reported to have stated, "The plan was to kill people."
Another soldier, Pfc. Andrew Holmes, also faces charges in the case, but a start date for his court-martial has not been publicly announced.
In all, officials charged 12 U.S. soldiers in what they called a conspiracy to kill Afghan civilians and cover it up, along with charges they mutilated corpses and kept grisly souvenirs.
Morlock was the first of the five to face an Article 32 hearing, the military equivalent of a grand jury hearing, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
Holmes is charged with the premeditated deaths of three civilians, possessing a dismembered human finger, wrongfully possessing photographs of human casualties, and smoking hashish.
He is also accused of conspiring with Morlock to shoot at a civilian and then toss a grenade so it would appear that the soldiers were under attack.
All of the accused men were members of a 2nd Infantry Division brigade operating near Kandahar in southern Afghanistan in 2009 and 2010.
The three others facing murder charges are Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs, of Billings, Montana; Adam Winfield, of Cape Coral, Florida; and Spc. Michael Wagnon, of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lohan Rejects Plea Agreement Offer

According to Fox News, Lindsay Lohan has rejected a plea deal and will proceed to trial. Lohan currently faces charges for allegedly stealing a $2,500 necklace from a Venice, California jewelry store in January. At the time of the alleged offense, Lohan was on probation. The plea offer from prosecutors would have required Lohan to serve jail time.

A once-promising star of Disney films such as "Freaky Friday" and "Herbie Fully Loaded," Lohan's career has been stalled since she was arrested twice in 2007 and later charged with drunken driving and drug possession.

In the past 10 months, Lohan has been jailed twice and sent to rehab twice for probation violations. A judge ordered her to undergo three months of treatment at the Betty Ford Center, and it was within three weeks of her release that she was accused of stealing the necklace.

While the theft case has caused more uncertainty for Lohan, it might benefit others.

The owners of Kamofie & Co. announced Wednesday that they will auction the necklace and donate the proceeds to an unspecified charity after the theft case is resolved. The item remains in the custody of authorities.

CNN reported earlier this week that the judge in the case informed Lohan that any plea deal would involve jail time.

"If you plead in front of me, you are going to jail, period!" he said during the February 23 hearing.

Holley [Lohan's attorney] previously said her client would welcome a plea deal, but only if it did not involve going to jail.

Thursday's hearing marked Lohan's ninth court hearing in 10 months.