Soldier pleads to detonating chemical weapon near baseJune 12, 2018 10:21pm

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.

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