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Authorities did not release any additional details about the shooting or say what led them to Salas. No one was immediately available to comment yesterday at the public defender’s office.

Fort Riley spokeswoman Alison Kohler said both soldiers were assigned to 2nd Battalion, 70th Armor, 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division.


Court-martial begins in Iraqi girl’s killing

FORT CAMPBELL — A Fort Campbell soldier accused of acting as a lookout while his colleagues attacked and killed a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and her family pleaded guilty to some lesser offenses yesterday as his court-martial began on rape and murder charges.

Pfc. Jesse Spielman pleaded to conspiracy to obstruct justice, arson, wrongfully touching a corpse and drinking.

He still faces trial on the more serious charges in the March 2006 attack on Abeer Qassim al-Janabi and her family. Under military law, a soldier present when a crime occurs can be found guilty if prosecutors can establish that the soldier had prior knowledge.

Three other soldiers have pleaded guilty for their roles in the crimes and received sentences as long as 100 years. Another soldier was discharged from the military before he was charged and could face the death penalty if found guilty in federal court in Kentucky.

A military judge was expected to begin seating a jury for his court-martial on the rape and murder charges later in the day.


Fireworks, parade mark bridge’s 50th

MACKINAW CITY — Fireworks displays launched from three points around the Mackinac Bridge capped a three-day 50th birthday celebration for one of the world’s longest suspension bridges.

Fireworks on Mackinac Island kicked off Saturday night’s pyrotechnics. Displays followed in Mackinaw City, on the bridge’s south end and in St. Ignace to the north. The bridge was closed for the fireworks and earlier in the day for a parade.

A memorial and statue were dedicated in honor of the ironworkers who built the bridge, the Detroit Free Press reported.

The bridge, 5 miles long including approaches, carries Interstate 75 across the Straits of Mackinac, which separates lakes Michigan and Huron, and connects Michigan’s Upper and Lower peninsulas.

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