Army court martial panel sentences convicted soldier

Posted: Wednesday, August 23, 2000

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A Fort Wainwright soldier was sentenced Tuesday to 33 years in prison for murdering his 4-year-old stepson last year.

Sgt. Scott Buber was found guilty by a six-member military jury on Monday on charges of unpremeditated murder, assault and battery on a child and making false statements to two Army investigators.

Ja'lon Johnson died in December from severe head injuries, which Buber claimed were due to a combination of a fall down stairs at the family's home and an accident while playing football.

Buber, from Killeen, Texas, was assigned to the 172nd Separate Infantry Brigade at Fort Wainwright, near Fairbanks. He was a chemical operations specialist.

The charges came after Buber couldn't wake up the boy on Nov. 29. Buber took him to Bassett Army Community Hospital at Fort Wainwright, where CAT scans discovered he was suffering from head trauma.

The boy was airlifted to Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage and died Dec. 9.

The court-martial began Aug. 15, with the jury starting its deliberations on Sunday.

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