WASHINGTON – Two more Marines have been charged for their alleged roles in an incident that involved urinating on dead Taliban fighters in 2011, the Marine Corps announced Friday.
Captain James V. Clement, executive officer for Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine regiment, has been charged with dereliction of duty, violation of a lawful general order and conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentlemen for failing to supervise junior Marines, failing to stop the misconduct of junior Marines and failing to report misconduct. He also was charged with making false statements to an investigator.
Sergeant Robert W. Richards, a sniper, was charged with dereliction of duty, violation of a lawful general order and conduct prejudicial to the good order and discipline of the armed forces. According to a Marine Corps press release, investigators believe Richards photographed and videotaped himself and others urinating on corpses. He is also believed to have indiscriminately fired weapons and to have failed to supervise fellow Marines and report misconduct.
Article 32 hearings will be scheduled for each man to determine whether there is enough evidence to proceed to court-martial or other action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Last month, Sgt. Edward W. Deptola was ordered to face court-martial for his alleged role in the incident. In December, Staff Sgt. Joseph W. Chamblin pleaded guilty to urinating on a Taliban corpse, wrongfully posing for photographs with dead bodies and failing to properly supervise junior Marines.
The incident took place during an operation in Helmand province, Afghanistan, in July 2011. A video of part of the incident was posted on YouTube in January 2012, and contributed to senior Defense Department leaders urging commanders and troops to adhere to high standards of conduct.