Stryker soldier, Morlock, pleads guilty to Afghan murders

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. — Spc. Jeremy Morlock pleaded guilty Wednesday morning to three counts of murdering unarmed Afghans and other wrongdoing in an important juncture in a U.S. Army war-crimes investigation.

As part of the plea agreement, Morlock is expected to receive a prison sentence of up to 24 years, and to testify against other soldiers accused of crimes while serving in Afghanistan, including four accused of murder. The plea resulted from months of negotiations with prosecutors, and must now be approved by an Army judge.

Morlock attended the court-martial in dress uniform, answering "Yes, sir" and "No, sir" in a quiet voice to a series of questions about his understanding of the plea agreement from the Army judge, Lt. Col. Kwasi Hawks. During the questioning, the judge asked Morlock whether he shot people to scare them and it got out of hand, or if the plan was to kill people.

"The plan was to kill people," said Morlock, who had deployed to southern Afghanistan with the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.

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