Hearing for 2009 Iraq shooting winds down

August 11, 2011 - 2:15 AM

FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) — Attorneys are wrapping up their defense of an Army soldier charged with the May 2009 shooting deaths of five service members at a combat stress clinic in Iraq.

Sgt. John Russell is charged with five counts of premeditated murder for the shooting deaths. His attorneys argue that their client suffered from serious mental illness and was unable to receive the care he needed as his condition worsened.

The defense is expected to call its final witnesses Thursday. Both sides will then give closing arguments.

A military judge will take the case and decide whether to recommend a general court martial as presented, modify the charges or dismiss the case.

The 46-year-old Russell is from a small town near Dallas. He is being held at a Fort Leavenworth prison.