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No More Jail For Marine Who Killed Iraqi

A Marine reservist who killed an Iraqi soldier was sentenced Friday to a bad-conduct discharge but will serve no more time behind bars, a spokeswoman said.

Lance Cpl. Delano Holmes, 22, of Indianapolis, also was reduced in rank to private, said 1st Lt. Lisa Lawrence.

Holmes, who spent 10 months in the brig, could have faced up to eight more years of confinement.

A Marine jury convicted him Thursday of negligent homicide and of making a false official statement in the Dec. 31, 2006, stabbing death of Pvt. Munther Jasem Muhammed Hassin in Fallujah. Jurors acquitted him of unpremeditated homicide, which carried a potential life sentence.

Holmes remained at the base after Friday's verdict but could not immediately be reached for comment, Lawrence said.

Holmes' attorney, Steve Cook, claimed the Marine acted in self-defense after Hassin allegedly opened his cell phone and then lit a cigarette. Cook told jurors the men were not supposed to display any illuminated objects because of the threat of sniper fire, and Holmes tried repeatedly to get Hassin to extinguish the cigarette.

Prosecutors rejected the self-defense claims, saying Hassin suffered 17 stab wounds, 26 slashes and a chop to the face that nearly severed his nose, while Holmes was not injured.

Holmes told investigators that he fought with Hassin after knocking the cigarette from the soldier's hand. He said he felt Hassin reaching for his loaded AK-47, so he stabbed him with a bayonet that doubles as a utility knife that was attached to his jacket, Cook has said.

The prosecutor, Capt. Brett Miner, argued that Holmes fired Hassin's weapon after killing him to make it appear the attack was self-defense.

Holmes enlisted in the Marine reserves in May 2004 and was on his first deployment in Iraq, Cook said. He is from the 1st Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, based out of Lansing, Mich.

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