Army Medic Guilty of Execution-Style Killings

Lockport soldier faces life in prison for murder of Iraqi prisoners

A military jury in Germany has found a U.S. army medic from Illinois guilty of murder in the execution-style shootings of four Iraqis.

Sgt. Michael Leahy, from south suburban Lockport,  was also found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder by the
nine-person military jury.  He was acquitted of murder in a separate incident involving the death of another Iraqi in January 2007.

The 28-year-old Leahy -- wearing his dress uniform -- sat impassively as the verdicts were handed down by the foreman of the jury made up of officers and enlisted personnel.

Leahy confessed to military investigators that he shot and killed a bound and blindfolded Iraqi prisoner point-blank in the back of the head, according to a video played at his murder trial today.

A video shown at Leahy's court martial Thursday shows him telling military investigators that after shooting the first prisoner, he turned his 9mm pistol on another captive.

In the video, Leahy said he was ashamed of what he'd done, but doesn't consider himself a murderer.

Leahy is also charged with conspiracy to commit premeditated murder and obstruction of justice. He now faces a possible life in prison and dishonorable discharge.

Leahy is one of seven soldiers accused of involvement in the slaying of the prisoners sometime between March 10 and April 16, 2007.

Testimony during trials and preliminary hearings last year indicated that the four Iraqis were taken into custody after a shootout with a patrol.

Later that night, witnesses said patrol members took the Iraqis to a remote area and shot them in retribution for the attacks against their unit.

The military court will reconvene later to hand down his sentence, which could include the possibility of life in prison along with a dishonorable discharge.


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