JBLM trial on Iraq killings concludes, ruling expected Monday

JBLM trial on Iraq killings concludes, ruling expected Monday
Sgt. John M. Russell
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. (AP) — The court-martial trial for Army Sgt. John Russell has concluded.

Now a military judge will decide whether the 14-year Army veteran was deluded by depression and despair as he shot five fellow service members in Iraq. Or he may decide Russell was taking revenge against psychiatrists who had blocked his hoped-for early exit from the Army.

The Los Angeles Times reports the trial concluded Saturday and the judge is expected to rule on Monday. A sentencing hearing is expected to take another week.

Russell already has pleaded guilty to five specifications of murder. The judge will determine whether the acts were premeditated. That's a key factor in whether he must serve life in prison.