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Guardsman said to kill after sex

RALEIGH, N.C. -- A National Guardsman who pleaded guilty to killing a 17-year-old Iraqi soldier said he shot the young man after they had consensual sex in a guard tower, a newspaper reported yesterday, citing court-martial records.

Private Federico Daniel Merida, 21, pleaded guilty to murder without premeditation and other charges during a court-martial in Iraq in September.

Merida was sentenced Sept. 25 to 25 years in prison and reduced in rank and will be dishonorably discharged. He is being held at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., a Leavenworth spokeswoman said.

Army officials at Forward Operating Base Danger, where the court-martial was held in Iraq, had previously withheld details of the case.

However, The News & Observer of Raleigh reported yesterday that records show Merida and the Iraqi were on guard duty May 11 in a tower on the perimeter of an Army camp near Tikrit in northern Iraq. At about 10:30 p.m., Merida shot the teen 11 times with his carbine. Merida first told investigators the teen demanded money at gunpoint. Later, he said he killed the boy because he forced him to have sex. In a third interview, Merida said he got angry after the two had consensual sex.

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