Blackwater Guards Convicted In Killings Of Unarmed Iraqis
Prison terms are from 30 years to life for four Blackwater guards convicted in the 2007 deaths of 14 unarmed Iraqis.
U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth sentenced Nicholas A. Slatten of Sparta, Tenn., to life in prison. Slatten is the only of the four guards convicted of murder in the incident, in which American security contractors fired assault rifles and grenades into halted noonday traffic, a low point of the U.S. war in Iraq that sent relations between the two countries into a crisis.
Three other guards, Paul A. Slough of Keller, Tex.; Evan S. Liberty of Rochester, N.H.; and Dustin L. Heard of Knoxville, Tenn., were convictedof multiple counts of manslaughter and attempted manslaughter in the Sept. 16, 2007, incident at Baghdad’s Nisoor Square. All three were sentenced Monday to 30 years plus one day in prison.
…Monday’s sentencing brought an emphatic end to the U.S. government’s years-long effort to demonstrate accountability for American security contractors’ conduct on the battlefield…
Jurors found that the defendants, at the time among 19 Blackwater guards providing security for State Department officials in Iraq, shot recklessly and out of control after one of them falsely claimed that their convoy, called Raven 23, was threatened by a car bomber.