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Attorney: Stewart soldier charged in militia murders has PTSD

Dec. 6, 2013 - 02:00PM   |  
Sgt. Anthony Peden, center, a soldier from Fort Stewart, appears in Superior Court Friday alongside his attorneys Melinda Ryals, left, and H. Burton Baker, in Ludowici, Ga. The defense attorneys says the soldier suffers from brain injuries and post-traumatic stress after serving in combat in Afghanistan. Peden and a fellow soldier, Pvt. Christopher Salmon, face possible death sentences if they're convicted of the Dec. 4, 2011, killings of Michael Roark and Tiffany York.
Sgt. Anthony Peden, center, a soldier from Fort Stewart, appears in Superior Court Friday alongside his attorneys Melinda Ryals, left, and H. Burton Baker, in Ludowici, Ga. The defense attorneys says the soldier suffers from brain injuries and post-traumatic stress after serving in combat in Afghanistan. Peden and a fellow soldier, Pvt. Christopher Salmon, face possible death sentences if they're convicted of the Dec. 4, 2011, killings of Michael Roark and Tiffany York. (Lewis Levine / AP)
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LUDOWICI, GEORGIA — The defense attorney for a U.S. Army sergeant charged in a double slaying says the soldier suffers from brain injuries and post-traumatic stress after serving in combat in Afghanistan.

The attorney for Sgt. Anthony Peden told a Superior Court judge Friday the soldier’s undergone psychological evaluations in preparation for his defense. Peden and a fellow soldier, Pvt. Christopher Salmon, face possible death sentences if they’re convicted of the Dec. 4, 2011, killings of Michael Roark and Tiffany York.

Prosecutors say the soldiers belonged to an anti-government militia group and killed the couple to protect its plans.

The soldier accused of leading the group, Pvt. Isaac Aguigui, pleaded guilty to murder charges July 19 and named Peden and Salmon as the shooters.

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