Military Jury Convicts Sergeant of Murder By ESTES THOMPSON, AP "FORT BRAGG, N.C. (April 21) - An Army sergeant was convicted Thursday by a military jury of premeditated murder and attempted murder in a grenade and rifle attack that killed two of his comrades and wounded 14 others in Kuwait during the opening days of the Iraq war. "Hasan Akbar, 34, now faces a possible death penalty, which the same 15-member jury will consider at a hearing that begins Monday. "Prosecutors say Akbar told investigators he launched the attack because he was concerned U.S. troops would kill fellow Muslims in Iraq. They said he coolly carried out the attack to achieve ''maximum carnage'' on his comrades in the 101st Airborne Division. "The verdict came after only 2 1/2 hours of deliberations following seven days of testimony in the court-martial - the first time since the Vietnam era that an American has been prosecuted on charges of murdering a fellow soldier during wartime. "Akbar stood at attention as the verdict was read by the colonel who headed the jury panel, biting his lip but giving no other outward sign of emotion. Defense attorneys acknowledged that Akbar carried out the attack, but argued he was too mentally ill to have premeditated it and was fueled by emotion. "Killed in the middle-of-the-night attack were Army Capt. Christopher Seifert, 27, who was shot in the back, and Air Force Maj. Gregory Stone, 40, who suffered 83 shrapnel wounds. The 101st was preparing to move into Iraq in support of the U.S. invasion when the attack occurred on March 22, 2003."