US soldier pleads not guilty to fatally shooting military contractor on base in IraqBy AP
Monday, April 26, 2010
US soldier pleads not guilty in contractor’s death
HONOLULU — A soldier accused of killing a military contractor in Iraq has pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges.
Spc. Beyshee Velez entered the pleas Monday in a military courtroom at Wheeler Army Airfield in Honolulu.
The 32-year-old Schofield Barracks soldier is charged with two counts of murder, three counts of assault and one count of fleeing apprehension in the death of Lucas Vinson of Leesville, La., on a U.S. base near Tikrit in September.
A military judge wants to know by July 13 if Velez will seek trial by jury or judge.
Velez’s civilian defense attorney, Philip D. Cave, says an Army mental fitness board found Velez experienced a “short psychotic episode,” but that he is fit to stand trial.
Information from: The Honolulu Advertiser, www.honoluluadvertiser.com
Tags: Hawaii, Honolulu, Iraq, Middle East, Military Legal Affairs, North America, United States, Violent Crime, War Casualties