Court-martial finds 101st Airborne sergeant guilty in Iraqi detainee deaths

[JURIST] A US military court-martial found 101st Airborne Staff Sgt. Raymond Girouard guilty of three counts of negligent homicide [Article 32 hearing transcript, DOC] Friday, but not guilty of premeditated murder for the deaths of three Iraqi detainees [JURIST news archive] held after a May 2006 raid in Thar Thar, a town near Samarra in the northern Salahuddin province of Iraq. Girouard was also found guilty of one count of obstruction of justice for lying to investigators, one count of conspiracy for trying to conceal the crime, and one count of failure to obey a general order. Girouard is the last and most senior soldier to face court-martial for the killings [JURIST report] and faces a maximum sentence of 21 years in prison when his sentencing proceedings resume Monday.

Several former subordinates of Girouard testified against him. Spc. William B. Hunsaker, Pfc. Corey R. Clagett, and Spc. Justin Graber, charged [JURIST report] last June with premeditated murder relating to the three killings, testified that Girouard instructed them to cut the detainees loose and to shoot them as they ran. Girouard later attempted to cover up the killing [JURIST report], cutting Hunsaker and punching Clagett in the face to fake the appearance that they were attacked by the three detainees. All defendants but Girouard pleaded guilty to all charges. Hunsaker received an 18-year sentence as did Clagett [JURIST reports]. Graber received a nine-month sentence for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon [JURIST report]. A US Army investigator previously recommended the death penalty [JURIST report] for all four soldiers. AP has more.



 

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