( AP ) - An American soldier has been acquitted of murder charges in the deaths of three Iraqis but was convicted of lesser charges, the U.S. military said Sunday.
Army Staff Sgt. Michael Hensley of Candler, N.C., had been charged with premeditated murder in the three deaths, which occurred April 14, April 27 and May 11 during operations south of Baghdad, the military said in a statement.
Hensley, a sniper and the scout platoon sergeant for 1st Battalion, 501st Airborne, was acquitted of those charges by a military court last Thursday, the U.S. statement said.
But he was convicted of planting evidence by placing a rifle with the body of an Iraqi man who died during the May 11 mission and of showing disrespect to a superior commissioned officer, the statement added.
Hensley was sentenced to 135 days confinement, reduced in rank to sergeant and received a letter of reprimand, the military said.
In September, a military panel acquitted U.S. Army Spc. Jorge G. Sandoval on charges he killed two unarmed Iraqis during the April and May missions, but convicted him of planting evidence on one of the men.
Another soldier from the same unit, Sgt. Evan Vela of St. Anthony, Idaho, also faces murder charges in the May shooting and will be tried separately.