[JURIST] Four US Army soldiers have been ordered to face court-martial for allegedly murdering Iraqi detainees in Thar Thar, a town near Samarra, some 60 miles north of Baghdad. Pfc. Corey R. Clagett, Spc. William B. Hunsaker, Staff Sgt. Raymond L. Girouard and Spc. Juston R. Graber allegedly released several detainees after a May 9 raid on a suspected insurgent camp only to shoot them as they fled. Military prosecutors have also alleged that Girouard stabbed Hunsaker to cover up the killings. The soldiers have said that they only shot at the prisoners as they tried to escape and that they were ordered by their officers to "kill all military-aged males" in the raid. All four are charged [JURIST report] with premeditated murder [JURIST report], attempted murder, and conspiracy. Girouard, Hunsaker and Clagett face additional obstruction of justice charges while Graber is also charged with making a false official statement. An Army investigator recommended the death penalty [JURIST report] for the four if convicted, but in deciding to refer charges for court-martial Wednesday, Maj. Gen. Thomas R. Turner determined that the soldiers will not be eligible for the death penalty.
The four soldiers from the Third Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division [GlobalSecurity backgrounder] will be court-martialed at Fort Campbell [official website]. The Tennessean has more.