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CLAYTON, Mo. — A military police officer from Missouri pleaded guilty to killing a woman and her unborn child to protect his career.
Prosecutors say Phillip C. Parish of Moline Acres, then a private first class in the Army, shot and killed 20-year-old Tabitha Buckingham in May 2011 because she was pregnant and he thought the child was his. He believed the child’s birth would ruin his military career. The baby turned out not to be Parish’s.
Buckingham’s body was found in her home nearly three days after she was shot. Her 2-year-old daughter was dehydrated and asleep beside her.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Parish returned to Afghanistan the day after the shooting.
He pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of second-degree murder as part of a plea deal.