[JURIST] Federal prosecutors in Charlotte charged former US Army soldier Steven Green with murder and rape Monday in connection with the death of an Iraqi woman and three family members in Mahmudiya in March. US Army Maj. Gen. James Thurman, commander of the 4th Infantry Division, ordered a criminal investigation [JURIST report] into the four deaths after two soldiers were abducted and killed [London Times report] near Baghdad when at least one member of their platoon revealed the alleged rape and murder in Mahmudiyah. Four other US soldiers have been confined to a US base near Mahmudiyah as the investigation continues. Green, who was honorably discharged due to a personality disorder before the probe began, was arrested in North Carolina over the weekend. In a press release [text], the US Attorney for Western Kentucky, where Green was based at Fort Campbell, said:
The charges allege that on March 12, 2006, while stationed in Mahmudiayh [sic], Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division, Green and three other individuals went to a house in the vicinity of Traffic Control Point 1, near Mahmudiayh, to rape one of the adult females living there. Green allegedly shot and killed an adult male, an adult female and a female child who were present in the house. The charges also allege that after participating in the rape of the second adult female, Green shot and killed her.If convicted, Green could face the death penalty [JURIST news archive] under US law, and the four soldiers suspected in the deaths could also face the death penalty under the Uniform Code of Military Justice [text].
Fourteen US soldiers have been convicted for their involvement in Iraqi civilian deaths since the beginning of the war. Two soldiers were charged with voluntary manslaughter and obstructing justice [JURIST report] for shooting an unarmed Iraqi civilian, and in June the US Army charged four soldiers for the deaths of Iraqi detainees [JURIST report] in the northern province of Salahuddin. Seven Marines and a Navy corpsman have been charged with murder and kidnapping [JURIST report] in connection with the April 26 death of an Iraqi man outside his home in Hamdania. Military investigations into the alleged killing of 24 Iraqi civilians [JURIST report] by Marines in the city of Haditha in November, 2005 are ongoing. AP has more. The Charlotte Observer has local coverage.