A full court-martial scheduled for today has been averted as Pfc. Andrew Holmes of Boise, charged with murder, is expected to plead guilty to a lesser charge. Holmes was one of a group of soldiers accused of taking part in the murders of Afghan civilians while deployed in Kandahar Province in early 2010.
Two other soldiers, Spc. Jeremy Morlock and Spc. Adam Winfield, earlier reached plea deals to avoid a full trial. Morlock pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to 24 years behind bars. Winfield was sentenced to three years in prison for involuntary manslaughter. Both were prepared to testify for the prosecution.
Holmes had maintained that he was an unwitting participant in the crimes. The terms of his last-minute plea deal will be made public later today.