US Army soldier convicted in Mahmudiya rape-murder case

[JURIST] A US military jury on Friday convicted Pfc. Jesse Spielman of four counts of felony murder, rape, conspiracy to commit rape, and housebreaking with intent to commit rape for his role in the March 2006 rape and murder of a 14-year old Iraqi girl [JURIST news archive] and the murder of her family in Mahmudiya (also "Mahmoudiya"). Spielman, who prosecutors say acted as a lookout during the attack, entered guilty pleas [JURIST report] Monday to lessor charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice, arson, wrongfully touching a corpse, and consuming alcohol. Spielman faces a mandatory life sentence and the military jury will decide whether Spielman should be eligible for parole.

Three of the four soldiers [JURIST report] directly involved in the attack have pleaded guilty. Spc. James P. Barker and Sgt. Paul E. Cortez [JURIST reports] received prison sentences of 90 and 100 years respectively after pleading guilty to rape and murder. Pfc. Bryan L. Howard, who stayed at the soldiers' checkpoint but had prior knowledge of the plan, was sentenced to 27-months after pleading guilty [JURIST report] in March to conspiracy to commit rape and premeditated murder and conspiracy to obstruct justice. The alleged ringleader in the attack, former Pfc. Steven D. Green [JURIST news archive], is currently facing federal charges [docket; JURIST report] because he was discharged from military service before the charges arose. Green, who has entered a not guilty plea [JURIST report], is accused of raping the girl and shooting the entire family. He faces the death penalty if convicted. AP has more.

8:16 PM ET - Spielman was sentenced Saturday to 110 years in prison. AP has more.

 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.