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Military Panel Sentences Akbar To Death

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FORT BRAGG, N.C. — After seven hours of deliberation, a military panel sentenced Army Sgt. Hasan Akbar to death Thursday evening.

Moments after the verdict, Akbar, who did not show much emotion as the verdict was read, emerged from the court building in shackles and surrounded by military police officers.

He will be taken to military death row in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

On Thursday morning, Akbar made a statement in court, apologizing for a fatal grenade attack on his comrades.

"I apologize for my actions," he said. "When I did that I felt my life was in jeopardy and I had other problems."

Akbar was found guilty by a unanimous vote of two counts of premeditated murder and three counts of attempted premeditated murder by general court-martial April 21.

Akbar was convicted of the March 23, 2003 grenade attack on three tents in Camp Pennsylvania, Kuwait that took the lives of Cpt. Christopher Seifert and Maj. Gregory Stone and wounded 14 others from the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, KY.

The results of trial will next be reviewed by the General Court Martial Convening Authority, Maj. Gen. Virgil L. Packett II.

Packett may approve the sentence, or reduce it in part or in whole.

Upon completion of Packett's review, the case will automatically be reviewed by the Army Court of Criminal Appeals and then by the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.

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