Ex-soldier spared death penalty for Iraq murders

PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) - An ex-soldier convicted of rape and murder in Iraq has been spared the death penalty and will get a life sentence after jurors couldn't agree unanimously on a punishment.

Former Pfc. Steven Dale Green raped a 14-year-old Iraqi girl in March 2006 and murdered her and her family in their home south of Baghdad. Jurors had deliberated the penalty for the former 101st Airborne Division member since Wednesday afternoon and decided Thursday on a life sentence.

A judge will formally sentence him Sept. 4.

The 24-year-old from Midland, Texas, was convicted May 7. He and three other soldiers went to the family's home, where Green and two others raped the teen. Green killed her parents and sister, then her.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)