Boise soldier enters guilty plea in war crimes case

Sep 22, 2011

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – A 21-year-old soldier from Boise has pleaded guilty to unpremeditated murder of an unarmed Afghan civilian.

Private First Class Andrew Holmes entered his plea Thursday as part of an agreement with prosecutors. The deal spares him a possible mandatory life sentence.

In an interview, Holmes expressed remorse for his involvement in the killing of a young Afghan non-combatant in January of 2010.

“I remember when this whole thing down and they pulled his dad and his brother down there and they were sitting there looking at their son and brother and he was on the ground. It was a terrible thing. I wish I could have done things different, I wish I would have had time to process what was actually going on. There was a lot of confusion that day,” Holmes said.

That confusion has cropped up in court Thursday. In answer to the judge's questions, Holmes stopped short of admitting that he knew he was participating in the murder of an innocent civilian.

The judge is considering whether to accept Holmes' plea Thursday. It wasn't immediately clear what sentence Holmes might face. A total of five Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldiers were originally charged in connection with three murders while deployed in southern Afghanistan.

Copyright 2011 Northwest News Network