Fort Bliss soldier convicted of murder

March 30, 2012 6:32:37 AM PDT
A soldier at Fort Bliss has been convicted of murder for the shotgun slaying of a fellow soldier at an El Paso sports bar last year.

Spc. Saleel Zareef Qaasim begged for forgiveness at his court-martial before a military jury sentenced him Thursday to life in prison. He also was dishonorably discharged.

Qaasim was charged with the February 2011 killing of Spc Alex Gabriel Jaime. The jury that convicted him ruled the shooting was not premeditated.

The El Paso Times reports Quaasim cried on the witness stand, apologized to his family and the military and said he wished he could take back his actions.

His lawyer, Leonard Morales, had hoped for a reduced charge, describing the shooting as two young men "getting into a regrettable situation."