US ex-soldier convicted of Iraq rape and killings

A federal jury convicted a former soldier of raping and fatally shooting a 14-year-old girl after killing her parents and younger sister while he was serving in Iraq.

Pfc. Steven Dale Green faces a possible death sentence when the penalty phase of his trial opens Monday in the unusual case of a crime in a war zone being prosecuted in civilian court.

Green, 24, of Midland, Texas, was being tried in federal court because he had been discharged from the Army for a personality disorder before he was charged with the Iraq crimes. Green stared straight ahead as the verdict was read yesterday in US District Court in western Kentucky.

Defence attorney Darren Wolff, speaking afterward, said the defence never denied Green's involvement.

"Is this verdict a surprise to us? No. The goal has always been to save our client's life," Wolff said. "And, now we're going to go to the most important phase, which is the sentencing phase and we're going to accomplish that goal."

The lead prosecutor, Assistant US Attorney Marisa Ford, declined comment.

The trial began April 27, and jurors deliberated for more than 10 hours beginning Wednesday before finding Green guilty. Jurors didn't look at Green as they entered the courtroom before the verdict was read.

Green's defense team had asked them to consider the "context" of war, saying soldiers in Green's unit of the 101st Airborne Division lacked leadership. Defense attorneys also said the Army missed signs that Green was struggling after the loss of friends in combat and that it offered little help to him and other soldiers in his unit.

The prosecution rested six days into the trial after presenting witnesses who said Green confessed to the crimes and others who put him at the home of 14-year-old Abeer Qassim al-Janabi, heard him shoot her family and saw him rape and shoot the girl.

During opening arguments, Assistant US Attorney Brian Skaret said Green talked frequently of wanting to kill Iraqis, but when pressed, would tell people he wasn't serious. In the weeks before the attack on the family, several soldiers from Green's unit were killed in combat.

In closing arguments, Ford said the March 12, 2006, crime was planned and premeditated. "This was a crime that was committed in cold blood," she said.

Prosecutors told jurors that the plot against the family was hatched among Green and fellow soldiers who were playing cards and drinking whiskey at a checkpoint. Talk turned to having sex with Iraqi women, when one soldier mentioned the al-Janabi family, who lived nearby, Skaret said.

Three other soldiers are serving time in military prison for their roles in the attack, and testified against Green at his trial.

Green's father, John Green, declined to comment on the verdict. But he told The Associated Press that he may testify during the penalty phase of the trial.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager / Media Sales - OTE up to £30,000

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award-winning company, whi...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Software Developer

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique & exciting opp...

Recruitment Genius: UX Consultant

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be working with a 8 st...

Recruitment Genius: Part-time Editor

£8000 - £12000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A unique opportunity has arisen ...

Day In a Page

Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border