U.S. soldier charged with slaying pleads guilty

WIESBADEN, Germany -- A military judge sentenced a U.S. Army private on Tuesday to 40 years in prison with possibility of parole for participating in the killing and robbing of a fellow soldier.

Pfc. Andrew Humiston, 23, of Champlin, Minn., was also ordered dishonorably discharged for his role in the murder in 2001 of Pfc. Clint C. Lamebear, 18, of Church Rock, N.M.

Pfc. Jonathan Schroeder, 21, of Oxford, Miss., pleaded guilty to the crime last week.

Schroeder was sentenced to serve a maximum of 70 years in prison, while Humiston's maximum limit was 40 years. Both will be eligible for parole in 10 years.

Humiston maintained his innocence at his arraignment and planned a full defense before the military court.

But he changed his plea and admitted to felony murder, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery and obstruction of justice after the judge ruled that a confession he gave to German police in November could be admitted as evidence.

Humiston told the court he had not intended to harm Lamebear when he and Schroeder escorted him out of a bar in the Alt Sachsenhausen neighborhood of Frankfurt shortly after 3 a.m. on Nov. 16, 2001.

When Schroeder proposed robbing the intoxicated Lamebear -- leading him down a dark alley to a garage -- Humiston went along with the idea, kicking the 18-year-old private and taking $5.66 from his pocket.

Throughout Tuesday's trial, no firm motive for the killing was ever given and superiors of Schroeder and Humiston testified they were good soldiers.

Sgt. Dustin Ray Bruening, Humiston's squad leader, testified the private showed leadership qualities.

"He's a great soldier," Bruening said. "One of the best. I'd tell him to do something and he would just do it to the best of his ability."