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Seoul court gives U.S. soldier three-year jail term

Posted September. 14, 2013 05:57,   


A Seoul court on Friday sentenced a U.S. soldier who shot pedestrians with a BB gun in Itaewon, Seoul to three years in prison. Staff Sergeant Lopez Christian, 26, was indicted on charges of shooting the BB gun at pedestrians and leading the local police on a high-speed car chase in March.

"Despite his confessions, it is hard to believe Lopez is reflecting on his wrongdoing," the court said. "We have no choice but to sternly punish him because he drove into a policeman on duty several times, severely injuring him."

Wendy Puentes, a 22-year-old female specialist, was fined 5 million won (4,599 U.S. dollars) for her involvement in the BB gun shooting.

The case marked the first time that South Korea took a U.S. soldier into custody on criminal charges in accordance with a clause in the Status of Forces Agreement that governs the legal status of the U.S. troops stationed in South Korea. The relevant clause requires the USFK and South Korea to give "sympathetic consideration" to each other`s requests for a waiver of jurisdiction.