DENVER – A Fort Carson soldier charged with fatally shooting a jailed Taliban member in Afghanistan was transferred to a mental health facility on Thursday, his father said.
Pfc. David Lawrence was admitted for inpatient treatment, Brett Lawrence told The Associated Press. The father said he the facility is in Colorado, but he did not know the name or the city.
Fort Carson officials said they couldn't comment because of privacy rules.
David Lawrence, 20, of Lawrenceburg, Ind., is charged with premeditated murder in the Oct. 17 shooting death of the Taliban member in a cell at a U.S. outpost in southern Afghanistan. If convicted of the charge, he could be sentenced to execution or life in prison.
The soldier was taking an antidepressant and another drug for sleeping problems at the time, and sometime after the shooting, Army doctors placed him on another drug for schizophrenia, his attorney, James Culp, said.
It's not clear whether Army doctors have formally diagnosed the soldier with schizophrenia, but Brett Lawrence said his son told family members before the shooting that he was hearing voices. The father also said others in the family suffer from schizophrenia.
Culp said Lawrence was transferred to the mental health facility at the direction of the Army psychiatrist overseeing his case. Culp said he too did not know the name or city of the facility.
"We are very relieved," Brett Lawrence said, adding that his son needs help.
David Lawrence had been assigned to guard the prisoner at the time of the shooting.
At a military judicial hearing this week, Army prosecutors portrayed him as a zealot determined to kill the enemy and suggested he might be faking mental illness.
Culp said that before the shooting, Lawrence was badly shaken by the deaths of two Army friends in Afghanistan, including a chaplain. Lawrence had sought mental health care in Afghanistan before the shooting, and was prescribed the antidepressant and sleep medicine, Culp said.
Culp said when Lawrence was returned to his unit after seeing the mental health providers, he didn't get the care or supervision that he needed and instead was assigned to longer-than-normal shifts on guard duty.