Dexter native pleads guilty to attempted murder in Iraq

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

One of four 101st Army Airborne soldiers currently involved in a murder trial is a native of Dexter, Mo.

Pvt. William B. Hunsaker, 24, formerly Spec. Hunsaker, of Dexter, Mo., was based at Fort Campbell, Ky., and plead guilty on Jan. 11 to attempted premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstruction of justice. Hunsaker was sentenced to 18 years in prison for his role in an incident that happened near Samarra, Iraq, in May 2006.

Hunsaker and fellow soldiers Staff Sgt. Raymond Girouard, Pfc. Corey R. Clagett and Spc. Justin Graber were on trial for murdering three detainees in a raid on a suspected al-Qaida compound.

During his court-martial Hunsaker said he took "careful aim" at the detainees to make the killings look as "professional" as possible. Hunsaker's reduced sentence is conditional on his testimony against other soldiers in the case, including his commanding officer, Girouard, who is currently on trial.

Members of the Hunsaker family declined to comment Tuesday morning.

Check back at www.semissourian.com or in Wednesday's Southeast Missourian for details.

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