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Indian soldier struggled after returning from Iraq

An Indian soldier accused of murder and attempted murder struggled with daily life after returning from the war in Iraq, family members said.

Matthew Sepi, 20, spent a year in Iraq. The 5-feet-3, 120 pound soldier didn't seem to be bothered by the war, his former roommate said.

But problems surfaced after he was discharged this past May. His mother said he sought treatment for post-trauma stress disorder but was put on a wait list for counseling. His sister said he was bothered by loud noises.

"When I was with him, I slammed a door and he kind of was freaking out," Juli Sepi told the Associated Press.

Sepi, a Navajo from Arizona, had trouble finding work in Las Vegas, where he moved. When he finally got a job as a day laborer, he told police had couldn't function after a pallet fell to the ground.

The stress apparently contributed to the July 31 incident in which he shot at a couple with an assault rifle, killing a woman and wounding a man. His lawyers say he acted in self-defense. Police said the other man was carrying a weapon and fired at Sepi.

Lawyers want the murder and attempted murder charges dropped. They say Sepi should undergo treatment.

Get the Story:
War Stress Blamed in Iraq Vet Shootings (AP 8/22)

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