Pfc. David Lawrence
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) - A local soldier will be court-martialed on a murder charge despite psychiatrists' findings he was mentally ill.
Army Pfc. David Lawrence shot in the face a defenseless Taliban prisoner he was supposed to be guarding at a military outpost in Afghanistan last October.
The Denver Post reports psychiatrists determined Lawrence, 20, was suffering from severe mental illness – post traumatic stress disorder and schizophrenia - when the shooting took place. However, the Army decided Monday to court-martial the Hidden Valley native and former Lawrenceburg High School student.
The ruling comes after an Article 32 hearing last November to determine if there was enough evidence to send the case to court-martial. The hearing was held at Fort Carson, Colo. where Lawrence is based.
With her son facing a possible death penalty or life in prison, Wendy Lawrence spoke out Tuesday.
“This is an abuse of power by the military, and a travesty of justice. Who will hold them accountable? My son volunteered to serve his country during war time, in return he is being mistreated, abandoned,” she told Eagle 99.3 by e-mail.
Just days before the shooting, Lawrence had requested to see a combat stress clinic. He was instead returned to his unit.