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Jordanian Soldier Sentenced to Life in killing of 3 US Troops | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Cynthia, right, 53, and Charles Lewellen, 53, speak during an interview in Amman, Jordan on Monday, July 10, 2017 after attending the trial of a Jordanian soldier charged with murder in the killing of their son, Matthew, and two other US Army Green Berets outside a Jordanian air base last year. (AP Photo/Sam McNeil)

A Jordanian soldier on Monday received a life sentence in the shooting deaths of three US military trainers at the gate of an air base in southern Jordan last November.

A military court in Jordan sentenced the defendant, 1st Sgt. Marik al-Tuwayha, to life in prison with hard labor.

He had pleaded “not guilty,” saying he opened fire because he feared the base was coming under attack.

Tuwayha has said he believed he was complying with rules of engagement. He has said he had “no intention of killing anyone” and felt no resentment toward Americans.

The three US Army Green Berets were killed Nov. 4, as their convoy waited at the base gate.

The victims were 27-year-old Staff Sgt. Matthew C. Lewellen of Kirksville, Missouri; 30-year-old Staff Sgt. Kevin J. McEnroe of Tucson, Arizona; and 27-year-old Staff Sgt. James F. Moriarty of Kerrville, Texas.

Jordan initially said the Americans triggered the shooting by disobeying entry rules, a claim that was later withdrawn.

Relatives of the slain troops were in court on Monday.