Update: Specialist Jeffrey Page has been sentenced to 26 years of confinement and a dishonorable discharge for the shooting death of Specialist Adrian Perkins in Jordan last year.
He reportedly apologized during the court hearing in which his punishment was imposed, saying, "I let my unit down. I let my squad-mates down."
Get additional details in our original coverage below.
Original post: Today, Specialist Jeffrey Page, a soldier based at Fort Carson, is expected to be sentenced for the 2014 slaying of a fellow soldier, nineteen-year-old Specialist Adrian Perkins.
Page, who's originally from Ohio, insisted that the killing of Perkins, who he shot in the head as the latter was bringing him lunch, was a terrible accident.
A military court disagrees. Page was found guilty of murder during a hearing at Fort Carson yesterday.
The shooting took place on May 17, 2014, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette, and in the immediate aftermath of the incident, few details were released. Almost two weeks later, on May 30, ABC10 in San Diego, from where Perkins hailed, noted that military officials would only say that he died in a "non-combat related shooting" on a military base in Jordan.
"I don't really care how he died; he was still my hero. I don't care what happened and what they find out, it's immaterial to me," Perkins's grieving grandfather, Fred Ashby, was quoted as saying.
He added that after his military service, Perkins had planned to join the San Diego Sheriff's Office: "He was going to be a deputy and be a dog handler, that's what he had dreams of being,"
Details were still few by the following December, when NBC7 in San Diego reported that a hearing into the incident was scheduled to get underway. Charging documents said only that Perkins had been killed by a single shot to the head from an M-4 rifle.
The accounts that finally emerged were shocking, As noted by the Gazette, Perkins was bringing lunch to Page and another soldier, who were assigned to a guard post, when he was slain..
The defense maintained that Page had thought his rifle was not loaded when he aimed it at Perkins and pulled the trigger — a "dry fire" of the sort soldiers frequently engaged in when they were bored. As such, Page was willing to enter a guilty plea to involuntary manslaughter, an offense that would have put him behind bars for ten years.
In contrast, prosecutors argued that Page didn't like Perkins, who allegedly "had a bad reputation in the unit" stemming from his "messy attire, lack of military demeanor and lackluster soldier skills," the Gazette reports.
"This case is about a deliberate, methodical, thoughtful kill-shot," prosecuting Major Laura West argued — and the judge in the case ultimately agreed with her, He's expected to pass down Page's sentence this morning.
Continue for the aforementioned NBC7 report about Perkins, broadcast in December 2014.
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