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Fort Wainwright soldier pleads guilty to murder of 3-year-old son

A Fort Wainwright soldier pleaded guilty Monday to premeditated murder in the death of his 3-year-old son and to various other crimes, including striking and strangling his wife, according to the U.S. Army Alaska.

Sgt. Nathaniel Ulroan, 24, was arrested seven months ago after military police found his son dead in a home on the Fairbanks military post the morning of April 4. On Monday, a military judge at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state sentenced Ulroan to life in prison, said a statement from the Army.

Ulroan, originally from the Southwest Alaska village of Chevak, pleaded guilty in military court to premeditated murder, kidnapping, two specifications of rape, one specification of sexual assault, eight specifications of assault and communicating a threat. The charges stem from the murder of his 3-year-old son on April 3 and for the physical and sexual abuse of his wife between 2011 and 2014, the statement said.

A "specification" in court-martial is equivalent to a "charge" in civilian court, said John Pennell, U.S. Army Alaska spokesperson.

During the court proceedings, Ulroan pleaded guilty to hitting his wife in the face with his fist and throwing her to the ground, threatening her with a knife, holding her against her will, strangling her and later stabbing his son to death, the statement said.

The statement said Ulroan's wife was not home when he killed his son.

Ulroan also pleaded guilty to physically and sexually assaulting his wife, Pennell said.

The military judge sentenced Ulroan to reduction from sergeant to private, forfeitures of all pay and allowances, dishonorable discharge from the Army and life in prison without the possibility of parole. But Pennell said that a pre-trial agreement limits Ulroan's sentence to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

It is unclear when Ulroan will be up for parole, according to Pennell.

"This is something that will happen in the corrections system," he said Tuesday.

Ulroan is being held at the Northwest Joint Regional Confinement Facility at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Ulroan joined the Army in 2008. He deployed to Iraq for three months and Afghanistan for 11 months before being assigned to Fort Wainwright in December 2012, according to the U.S. Army Alaska.