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FORT BRAGG, N.C. — A 24-year-old solider who fatally stabbed a paratrooper from Virginia while horsing around in a tent in Iraq has been sentenced to nine months in prison, demoted to private and given a bad conduct discharge.

The Fayetteville Observer reports that Spc. Nicholas Bailey was hoping to avoid prison by taking a plea deal Friday in the 2010 death of 19-year-old Spc. Morganne McBeth, of Fredericksburg, Va.

Authorities say Bailey was yelling and stabbing a poster when he accidentally cut McBeth, who was standing behind him.

Bailey apologized to McBeth’s family, and McBeth’s mother asked the military judge not to sentence Bailey to prison because it would destroy two families.

Credit: The Associated Press.