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Army sergeant gets life sentence for killing fellow soldiers

ATLANTA (Reuters) - An Army sergeant was sentenced on Wednesday to life without parole for the 2008 murders of two fellow soldiers in Iraq.

A 12-member military jury at Fort Stewart in south Georgia convicted Joseph Bozicevich, 41, of Minneapolis in May of fatally shooting sergeants Darris Dawson and Wesley Durbin at the Jurf patrol base in Iskandariyah, Iraq, according to a U.S. Army news release.

According to trial testimony, the killings occurred after Bozicevich became angry with the two victims for giving him a poor job performance review, said Kevin Larson, a spokesman for the Army's Third Infantry Division.

Bozicevich claimed the killings were in self defense, the spokesman said.

Dawson, 24, was from Pensacola, Florida, and Durbin, 26, was from Hurst, Texas, Larson said.

Sentencing was delayed after a member of Bozicevich's defense team was injured in a parachuting accident, Larson said.

Because the military jury's verdict was not unanimous, Bozicevich could not have been sentenced to death, Larson said. He had faced life in prison with or without the possibility of parole.

Bozicevich will be jailed at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, the Army said.

(Reporting by David Beasley; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Greg McCune)