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Former US soldier facing life for murdering Iraqi girl, hangs self in cell

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Steven Dale Green, 28, of Midland, Texas, committed suicide in his Arizona prison cell after facing life in federal prison with no chance at parole while carrying a conviction of raping and killing a 14-year-old Iraqi girl, the Associated Press reported on Thursday.

Pima County, Ariz., Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Eric Peters said an autopsy completed Tuesday concluded that 28-year-old Steven Dale Green's cause of death was suicide by hanging. Prison officials found him in his cell Saturday at the federal penitentiary in Tucson.

Green was discharged from the military in May 2006 after being found to have a personality disorder, and was sentenced in 2009 after he became the first American soldier to be convicted under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act. Signed in 2000, the law gives the federal government jurisdiction to pursue criminal cases against US. citizens and soldiers for acts committed in foreign lands.

In multiple interviews from prison with The Associated Press, Green frequently expressed regret at taking part in the attack and frustration that he was tried and convicted in the civilian system, which does not afford inmates parole, while the others involved went through the military justice system and have a chance to be released from prison.

One of Green's former attorneys, Darren Wolff of Louisville, Ky., said the prospect of spending the next four to five decades in prison with no possibility of getting out while co-conspirators have a chance at parole in the coming years took its toll on the former soldier.

Maybe he should have thought about that before killing an innocent young girl.

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Emily Sutherlin is also the Pregnancy Examiner.

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