Washington, March 24 - A US soldier pleaded guilty Wednesday to three counts of murdering Afghan civilians at a hearing in a military courtroom in the state of Washington, local media reported.
Specialist Jeremy N. Morlock also pleaded guilty to conspiracy and to drug charges. He pleaded not guilty to hitting another soldier and taking and possessing photos of dead Afghans in a court-martial at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, a Fox local news channel reported online.
Morlock's court-martial is the first of 12 to get underway in connection to the 2010 killings. Five soldiers are facing murder charges, while another seven are charged with attempting to cover-up the crimes. The victims were also allegedly mutilated and photographed.
The judge presiding over the case must still decide whether to accept Morlock's plea deal. Morlock could receive between 24 years to life in prison.
The German magazine Der Spiegel published photos this week of the soldiers and the dead victims. Morlock was shown with another charged soldier, Private First-Class Andrew Holmes, holding up the head of one of the dead victims. (dpa)