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Accused clinic shooter will face court-martial

May. 18, 2012 - 03:34PM   |   Last Updated: May. 18, 2012 - 03:34PM  |  
Army Sgt. John M. Russell.
Army Sgt. John M. Russell. (Family photo via AP)
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A sergeant charged in a 2009 shooting rampage at Camp Liberty, Iraq, that left five service members dead is being referred to a court-martial and may face the death penalty, according to an Army release.

The court-martial date for Sgt. John Russell of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., has not been set.

Russell, accused in the Camp Liberty Combat Stress Center shootings on May 11, 2009, was charged with five specifications of premeditated murder, which are capital offenses. He was also charged with one specification of attempted murder and one of aggravated assault.

"If convicted of all charges [and specifications], the maximum possible punishment is death," the Army release states.

Russell is in pretrial confinement at the Northwest Joint Regional Confinement Facility at Lewis-McChord.

Russell deployed to Iraq with the 370th Engineer Company, 54th Engineer Battalion, from Bamberg, Germany. Once in theater, the 54th was assigned to a unit from Lewis-McChord.

The charges are merely accusations and Russell is presumed innocent until proven guilty, the release states.

Killed in the shooting were">Navy Cmdr. Charles Springle, 52, of Wilmington, N.C., and four soldiers:">Pfc. Michael Edward Yates Jr., 19, of Federalsburg, Md.;">Dr. Matthew Houseal of Amarillo, Texas;">Sgt. Christian E. Bueno-Galdos, 25, of Paterson, N.J.; and">Spc. Jacob D. Barton, 20, of Lenox, Mo.

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