A U.S. soldier has been sentenced to life in prison with the
possibility of parole for his role in the execution-style slayings of
four Iraqi prisoners.
A U.S. military jury on Friday convicted
28-year-old Sergeant Michael Leahy of premeditated murder in the 2007
killings in Baghdad.
Authorities say the Iraqi men were
handcuffed, blindfolded and shot in the head, even though U.S.
officials had ordered them to be released because of a lack of
evidence. After being shot, their bodies were thrown into a Baghdad
During the trial in Germany, the nine-member panel heard
a videotape in which Leahy tells military investigators he shot one of
the prisoners point-blank in the back of the head.
The defense had argued that Leahy's judgment had been affected by a lack of sleep and combat stress.
other U.S. soldiers, Sergeant John Hatley, 41, and Sergeant First Class
Joseph Mayo, 27, are also charged in the slaying. All were assigned to
the First Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment.
Four other soldiers from the unit have been charged in the murder conspiracy for allegedly going along with the slayings.