Former Abu Ghraib Guard Makes Plea Deal

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A former Abu Ghraib guard pleaded guilty Tuesday to battery and two other charges in the Iraqi prison abuse scandal as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors.

Sgt. Javal Davis, 27, also pleaded guilty to dereliction of duty and making a false official statement to Army investigators after photographs of naked and abused detainees were made public last spring.

Davis, from Roselle, N.J., pleaded not guilty to two other charges: conspiracy and maltreating detainees. He had been set to go to trial Wednesday.

The pleas were entered after Col. James Pohl, the judge, rejected efforts by Davis' lawyer, Paul Bergrin, to get all the charges dismissed.

Bergrin told The Associated Press last week that Davis was working on a deal with military prosecutors that would cap his possible sentence at 18 months. He said the deal would not require Davis to testify against anyone else.

Capt. Chuck Neill, a prosecution spokesman, acknowledged that a deal was made, but would not comment on its terms.

The three charges to which Davis pleaded guilty carry a maximum punishment of 6 1/2 years in prison.

Davis, who did not appear in any of the notorious photos that ignited the Abu Ghraib scandal, had faced up to 8 1/2 years and reduction of rank if convicted of all charges.

Last month, former Spc. Charles Graner Jr., of Uniontown, Pa., was sentenced to 10 years in prison after being convicted on the same charges faced by Davis, as well as committing indecent acts.

Four other soldiers have already pleaded guilty in the Abu Ghraib case, and each testified at Graner's week-long trial. Two others — Spc. Sabrina Harman of Lorton, Va., and Pfc. Lynndie England of Fort Ashby, W. Va. — still face trial.