Soldier pleads to detonating chemical weapon near base
LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) - A soldier has pleaded guilty to making and detonating explosives that released chlorine gas in a forest near an Army base in Louisiana last year.
U.S. Attorney David Joseph's office says 24-year-old Ryan Keith Taylor, of New Llano, faces a maximum sentence of life in prison after pleading guilty Monday to producing, possessing and using a chemical weapon.
Authorities said Taylor set off explosives that released toxic gas into the air in Kisatchie National Forest, adjacent to Fort Polk, on April 12, 2017.
A court filing says a military police investigator felt his skin burning while collecting samples at the blast site. The filing says the investigator was permanently injured and must be medically discharged from the military.
A federal judge is scheduled to sentence Taylor on Sept. 12.