Man who shot soldiers takes plea deal

LITTLE ROCK — A man who confessed to shooting two soldiers outside a military recruiting station in Arkansas struck a plea deal with prosecutors Monday to avoid the death penalty.

Abdulhakim Muhammad pleaded guilty in the middle of his trial to capital murder and attempted capital murder charges. Pulaski County Judge Herbert Wright then sentenced Muhammad to life in prison without parole for capital murder, with 11 more life sentences for the remaining charges against him plus an additional 180 years in prison.

He confessed to the shootings in phone calls to the Associated Press. He also admitted the crimes to the judge overseeing his case and to authorities. Muhammad said he was acting in retribution for the deaths of Muslims in U.S. military action in Iraq and Afghanistan.