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Soldier gets death penalty for deadly shooting spree

2015/02/03 14:31

WONJU, South Korea, Feb. 3 (Yonhap) -- A military court on Tuesday sentenced an Army deserter to death for killing and wounding about a dozen unarmed comrades in a shooting rampage at a guard post close to the border with North Korea.

The court handed down the death penalty to the 23-year-old Army sergeant, surnamed Lim, for killing five and wounding seven others by detonating a grenade and firing at his comrades at the border outpost on the east coast in June last year.

He was also found guilty of running away from his unit with a rifle and a stash of ammunition. Two days later, he was captured while being under siege by thousands of troops right after a botched suicide attempt.

Military prosecutors last month demanded the capital punishment for him on charges of murder and desertion, arguing that he committed a "cruel and premeditated attack" on unarmed comrades.

South Korea's military law stipulates that a soldier faces capital punishment for killing a superior officer. One of the fallen soldiers was a staff sergeant in Lim's unit.