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Jury Orders Reprimand for Army Officer

January 24, 2006

FORT CARSON, Colo. (AP) _ A military jury on Monday ordered a reprimand for an Army interrogator convicted of killing an Iraqi general by stuffing him headfirst into a sleeping bag and sitting on his chest.

Chief Warrant Officer Lewis Welshofer Jr. also was ordered to forfeit $6,000 salary and was restricted to his place of work, worship and barracks for 60 days.

Welshofer, 43, had originally been charged with murder and faced up to life in prison. But on Saturday he was convicted instead of negligent homicide and negligent dereliction of duty.

On the lesser charges, he had faced up to three years and three months in prison, a dishonorable discharge, loss of his pension and other penalties.

After hearing the sentence reached by the jury of six officers, Welshofer hugged his wife. Soldiers in the gallery _ many of whom had worked with Welshofer and who had testified as character witnesses _ broke into applause.

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