A look at criminal cases against
U.S. troops stemming from
the deaths of Iraqis
since March 2003

compiled by The North County Times
and the Associated Press

December 3, 2006

Defend Our Marines main page

Convictions:

- Staff Sgt. Cardenas J. Alban, convicted of killing a severely wounded 16-year-old Iraqi during fighting in Baghdad's Sadr City. He was sentenced to one year's confinement, demoted to private and given a bad-conduct discharge.

- Staff Sgt. Johnny Horne Jr., pleaded guilty to unpremeditated murder in the same case as Alban. He was sentenced to three years in prison, had his rank reduced to private, forfeited wages and was given a dishonorable discharge. His prison sentence was later reduced to one year to be consistent with Alban's case.

 

- Cpl. Dustin Berg of the Indiana National Guard, convicted and sentenced to serve 18 months in prison and a bad-conduct discharge for the shooting death of an Iraqi police officer.

- Spc. Rami Dajani, convicted of involuntary manslaughter (accessory after the fact) and making a false statement following the fatal shooting of an Iraqi translator. He was sentenced to 18 months in confinement, reduced in rank to private and given a bad-conduct discharge.

- Spc. Charley L. Hooser, convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the same case involving Dajani. Hooser was sentenced to three years in prison and given a reduction in rank to private and a bad-conduct discharge.

- Capt. Rogelio "Roger" Maynulet, convicted of assault with intent to commit voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of a wounded Iraqi. He got no prison time, but was dismissed from the armed forces.

- Pvt. Federico Daniel Merida of the North Carolina National Guard, pleaded guilty to killing a 17-year-old Iraqi soldier after the two had consensual sex. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison, reduced in rank to private and dishonorably discharged.

- Marine Maj. Clarke Paulus, convicted of dereliction of duty and maltreatment in a case stemming from the death of an Iraqi prisoner who was dragged out of his holding cell by the neck, stripped naked and left outside for seven hours in 2003. Paulus, who commanded a Marine detention camp in Iraq, was dismissed from the service but received no prison time.

- Sgt. 1st Class Tracy Perkins, acquitted of involuntary manslaughter in the alleged drowning of an Iraqi man, but convicted of assault for forcing the man and his cousin into the Tigris River. He was sentenced to six months in prison, reduced in rank and had to forfeit $2,000.

- 1st Lt. Jack Saville, pleaded guilty to assault and other crimes in the same incident as Perkins and was sentenced to 45 days in prison, and had to forfeit $2,000 for six months.

- Pfc. Edward Richmond, convicted of voluntary manslaughter for shooting an Iraqi in the back of the head. He received three years in prison, had to forfeit all pay, and was dishonorably discharged.

- Sgt. Michael P. Williams, convicted of one premeditated murder and unpremeditated murder in the deaths of unarmed civilians during operations near Sadr City. He was sentenced to life in prison and given a reduction in rank and a dishonorable discharge. His sentence was later reduced to 25 years.

- Spc. Brent May, convicted of unpremeditated murder in the same incident as Williams. He was sentenced to five years and dishonorably discharged.

- Chief Warrant Officer Lewis Welshofer of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, found guilty of negligent homicide and negligent dereliction of duty in the death of Iraqi Maj. Gen. Abed Hamed Mowhoush after interrogation at a detention camp. A military jury ordered a reprimand and forfeiture of $6,000 of his salary, and restricted him to his home, office and church for two months.

Chief Warrant Officer Jefferson L. Williams, Sgt. 1st Class William Sommer and Spc. Jerry Loper were charged with murder and dereliction of duty along with Welshofer. The Army dropped the murder charges against Williams and Loper in exchange for their testimony against Welshofer. The murder charge against Sommer was also dropped. Williams, Sommer and Loper received administrative punishment.

- Jorge Diaz, convicted of murdering an Iraqi man, who Diaz fatally shot while the man's hands were cuffed. Diaz was sentenced to seven years in prison, reduced in rank to private and given a dishonorable discharge.

- Spc. James P. Barker, one of four Fort Campbell soldiers accused in the rape of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and the killing of her and her family, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 90 years in prison.

- National Guard Sgt. Milton Ortiz Jr. was charged in the shooting death of an unarmed Iraqi man near Ramadi. He was reduced in rank to specialist after pleading guilty to conspiracy to obstruct justice by placing a rifle near a mortally wounded Iraqi, and also threatening and assaulting an Iraqi in an unrelated incident.

- Petty Officer Melson J. Bacos pleaded guilty to kidnapping and conspiracy to kidnap and making false official statements in the shooting death of an Iraqi man in Hamdania. Under his plea deal, Bacos received 12 months in the brig.

- Pfc. John J. Jodka III pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and conspiracy to obstruct justice in the same case as Bacos. Jodka was sentenced to 18 months confinement.

- Lance Cpl. Jerry E. Shumate, Jr. pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and obstruction of justice in the same case as Jodka and Bacos and was sentenced to 21 months.

- Lance Cpl. Tyler A. Jackson pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and obstruction of justice in the same case as Shumate, Jodka and Bacos. Jackson was sentenced to 21 months.

Cleared or acquitted:

- Marine 2nd Lt. Ilario Pantano, cleared of murder charges in the shooting deaths of two Iraqi civilians. Pantano had been accused of riddling the two with bullets and hanging a warning sign on their corpses as a grisly example to insurgents.

- Staff Sgt. Shane Werst, acquitted of premeditated murder in the shooting death of an unarmed Iraqi. Werst said he fired to save a fellow soldier.

- National Guard Spc. Nathan B. Lynn, who was charged along with Sgt. Milton Ortiz, was cleared in the shooting death of an unarmed Iraqi man near Ramadi. He had faced a voluntary manslaughter charge.

Pending cases:

- Sgt. Lawrence G. Hutchins III, Cpls. Marshall L. Magincalda and Trent D. Thomas, and Lance Cpl. Robert B. Pennington, are charged with premeditated murder in the shooting death of an Iraqi man in Hamdania, the same case in which Bacos, Jodka, Shumate and Jackson were charged. In addition to murder, the four remaining defendants are also charged with kidnapping, conspiracy and other offenses.

- Pfc. Corey R. Clagett, Spc. Juston R. Graber, Staff Sgt. Raymond L. Girouard and Spc. William B. Hunsaker are charged with the premeditated murder of three male detainees. Clagett, Girouard and Hunsaker are also charged with obstructing justice for allegedly threatening to kill another soldier who was a witness in the case.

- Sgt. Paul E. Cortez, Pfc. Jesse V. Spielman and Pfc. Bryan L. Howard are accused in the rape of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and the killing of her and her family, the same case in which co-defendant Barker pleaded guilty. The cases of the three men have been referred to courts-martial. A fifth man, accused ringleader former Pvt. Steven Green, 21, has pleaded not guilty to civilian charges including murder and sexual assault.