'Thrill Kill' Ringleader Guilty
Soldier Calvin Gibbs led gang that killed Afghan civilians for fun
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 11, 2011 2:57 AM CST
Updated Nov 11, 2011 4:00 AM CST
US Army Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs is shown in this courtroom sketch during his court-martial on charges of killing three Afghan civilians.   (AP Photo/Peter Millett)

(Newser) – Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs "had a charisma, a 'follow me' personality," a prosecutor told a military court this week. "But it was all a bunch of crap. He had his own mission: murder and depravity." Gibbs, leader of a "thrill kill" gang of US soldiers that killed unarmed Afghan civilians for sport, has been found guilty of murder and other charges including taking body parts from corpses for trophies, and beating a soldier who reported his hashish use to superiors, ABC reports.

Three soldiers from the rogue platoon who already pleaded guilty testified against the 26-year-old soldier. The charges against Gibbs carried an automatic life sentence, but the jury panel—two enlisted personnel and three officers—decided that he will be eligible for parole in less than nine years, Reuters reports. In his defense, Gibbs told the court that he had "disassociated " himself from his actions in combat. He likened his removal of fingers from corpses to the taking of antlers from a deer.
 

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