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Fort Hood soldier gets 35 years over slaying

Fort Hood soldier gets 35 years over slaying
Wednesday, October 13, 2010 - 12:41pm

BELTON, Texas — A jury in Belton has ordered life in prison for a Fort Hood soldier convicted in the shooting death of a homeless man.

Jurors late Tuesday decided the penalty for 23-year-old Spc. Jared Lee Bottorff.

The case involves the August 2009 slaying of 36-year-old Dan Smith Jr. after a party at Bottorff's house in Killeen. Investigators say Smith had hitched a ride with Bottorff.

Attorneys for Bottorff claimed the shooting was self defense. Bottorff was convicted early Saturday of murder.

Bottorff's soldier roommate, Spc. Philip James Thomas, was charged with tampering with physical evidence.

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