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NATION : GI Cleared in Panama Slaying

<i> From Times Wire Services</i>

A military jury today acquitted a veteran paratrooper on charges that he unnecessarily killed a Panamanian during the 1989 invasion of the country.

The jurors deliberated nearly two hours before clearing Master Sgt. Roberto Bryan. The verdict was greeted by applause from other soldiers in the courtroom.

Bryan sighed with relief.

Bryan, a 19-year Army veteran and member of Ft. Bragg’s 82nd Airborne Division, was charged with unpremeditated murder. A conviction would have carried a sentence of life in prison.

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The Army had said Bryan, 42, shot a Panamanian with his M-16 rifle without provocation during the invasion.


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