Salina Soldier Pleads Guilty to Charges in Murder Case

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VILSECK, Germany - A U.S. soldier from Kansas pleads guilty to charges of being an accessory to murder and was sentenced to
eight months in prison for his role in the killing of four Iraqi prisoners.

Specialist Steven Ribordy of Salina also will receive a bad conduct discharge from the Army as part of a plea deal. In addition, he agreed to testify against other members of his unit.

Ribordy testified that he had helped stand guard as the prisoners were killed by other members of his patrol in early 2007. He said he approached the scene after the shots were fired and saw three bodies lying in a pool of blood, and then the fourth already in the canal.

Ribordy testified that he helped move one of the bodies to the edge of the canal, then push it in. He was initially charged with conspiracy to commit murder, which carries a possible life sentence. But the charges were reduced today to the lesser accessory to murder after the fact as part of Ribordy's plea agreement. That charge carried a maximum 10 years in prison.