- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 9, 2005

FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) — An Army platoon sergeant who ordered his soldiers to throw Iraqis into the Tigris River was sentenced yesterday to six months in military prison, but will not be discharged.

The military jury also reduced the rank of Army Sgt. 1st Class Tracy Perkins by one grade to staff sergeant, which cuts his pay and responsibilities.

Perkins, 33, was convicted Friday of two counts of aggravated assault, assault consummated by battery and obstruction of justice. He was acquitted of involuntary manslaughter and making a false statement.

He did not testify during his trial, but before he was sentenced yesterday told the jury of Army officers and enlisted members that his actions were wrong — although he did not apologize to the Iraqis. He said he still loved the military and did not want to lose his job.

“If I had to go back, I would definitely do something different on those days,” Perkins said, wiping away tears.

The six-man jury considered a sentencing range of no punishment to a dishonorable discharge, rank reduction and 11 years in prison. Prosecutors had recommended five years in prison and a dishonorable or bad conduct discharge.

Perkins was taken to the Bell County Jail because Ford Hood has no jail. It could take up to a week to determine where he will serve his sentence.

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