3 Soldiers Charged in Iraqis' Murder

Killings were retribution for American casualties
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 17, 2008 12:08 PM CDT
US Army soldiers fold a giant American flag after a ceremony at al-Faw palace to mark the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in Baghdad, Iraq on Thursday, Sept. 11, 2008.    (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
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(Newser) – Three soldiers have been charged with murder for their alleged role in the killing of four Iraqis last year, the US Army said today. The Iraqi men were blindfolded, shot in the head, and dumped in a Baghdad canal around April 2007 in retribution for casualties suffered by the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, Army officials said.

Sgt. John E. Hatley, 40; Sgt. 1st Class Joseph P. Mayo, 27; and Sgt. Michael P. Leahy Jr., 26, now assigned to the 172nd Infantry Brigade, face charges of premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit murder and obstruction of justice. Hatley and Leahy were also charged with one count of premeditated murder for a separate incident that happened near Baghdad in January 2007.