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Sheppard Officer sentenced to nine years

Wichita Falls_An Air Force Officer has been sentenced to nine years in prison and will be kicked out of the military for crimes while at Sheppard Air Force Base.  Colonel Samuel Lofton III was sentenced for conviction on 34 counts, including indecent assault, conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman, larceny and being absent without leave.

The military jury in Wichita Falls also fined the 49-year-old former training commander $14,000. Lofton must serve an additional year in prison if he doesn't pay it.  He'll remain in the military until his release from prison but must forfeit all his pay during that time. Lofton makes more than $9,000 per month.

Lofton racked up $26,000 in personal expenses on his government travel card, and was reimbursed $14,000 for trips he never took. He pleaded guilty to those charges last week.

Lofton this week was convicted of assault and bad conduct charges involving two women.

Copyright 2008 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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