News / USA

Blackwater Contractors Convicted of Manslaughter

A U.S. federal jury in Norfolk, in the southeastern U.S. state of Virginia, has found two former Blackwater contractors guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of an Afghan civilian.  

Justin Cannon and Christopher Drotleff were acquitted of more serious charges Friday in the shooting of two other Afghans.

Cannon and Drotleff face a maximum sentence of eight years in prison.  Sentencing is set for June 14.  Both men have been released until sentencing.

The trial focused on whether Cannon and Drotleff feared for their lives the night of the shooting, when the vehicle in front of them, carrying their co-workers, got into an accident.

The jury could be heard arguing behind closed doors during three days of deliberations.

Blackwater, based in North Carolina, has since changed its name to Xe Corporation.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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