Four Blackwater Guards Found Guilty for Killing 14 in Iraq
All four Blackwater security guards on trial for the deadly 2007 shooting in Baghdad's Nisour Square have been found guilty by a federal jury, concluding a 11-week trial. The group was charged with the killings of 14 Iraqis and injuring 17 others.
The Associated Press reports that the jury has only reached verdicts on some of the collective 33 counts against the group of men. Judge Royce Lamberth allowed the following verdicts to be revealed today: Nicholas Slatten was found guilty of first-degree murder; Paul Slough, Evan Liberty, and Dustin Heard were all found guilty of voluntary manslaughter.
Jurors appeared to partly accept the guards' claims that they acted in self-defense, but concluded that at least some of them reacted excessively and unreasonably. The men mistakenly believed that a white Kia sedan approaching their four-vehicle convoy was carrying a bomb, and responded to the sound of AK-47 gunshots, their defense said.
The jury is expected to continue deliberating the remaining charges.
[Image of Evan Liberty via AP]