Baghdad Blackwater shooting verdict
U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth of the District presided over a 10-week trial of four former Blackwater security guards accused of killing 14 unarmed Iraqis and injuring 17 others in one of the most controversial episodes of the Iraq war, a botched security operation in Baghdad’s Nisour Square on Sept. 16, 2007. The guards, all military veterans, are Paul A. Slough of Keller, Tex.; Nicholas A. Slatten of Sparta, Tenn.; Evan S. Liberty of Rochester, N.H.; and Dustin L. Heard of Knoxville, Tenn. Each faced manslaughter and attempted manslaughter charges involving the victims except Slatten, who was charged with murder in allegedly shooting the first victim. Prosecutors also charged the other three men with a gun charge, which carries a mandatory minimum 30 year prison term. Read related story.