BAGHDAD (AFP) - A US soldier has been charged with the murder earlier this month of a civilian contractor in Iraq, the US military said in a statement on Wednesday. Specialist Beyshee O Velez, 31, was charged on Monday with the fatal shooting of 27-year-old KBR employee Lucas Vinson, who died on September 13 at Contingency Operating Base Speicher, near Tikrit in northern Iraq. Velez, being held in pre-trial custody in Hawaii, faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a dishonourable discharge if found guilty. He is also charged with three counts of assault and one of fleeing arrest. The statement gave no further details, but noted that an investigation into the incident is ongoing. KBR is the largest contractor for the US army and provides meals, housing services, mail delivery and laundry for American military bases in Iraq.