2 accused in Iraqi deaths face more charges
November 7, 2008
GRAFENWÖHR, Germany — Two 172nd Infantry Brigade soldiers charged in the shooting deaths of four Iraqi detainees in Baghdad in March or April 2007 allegedly killed another detainee in January of that year, according to a Joint Multinational Training Command press statement.
Sgt. Michael P. Leahy Jr., 26, a soldier formerly assigned to 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, faces an Article 32 hearing for both incidents Wednesday in Vilseck, Germany, JMTC said in its statement Thursday.
Details of the January incident were disclosed for the first time in Army charge sheets released Thursday.
The sheet states that Leahy "… did, at or near Baghdad, Iraq, on or about 3 January 2007, with premeditation murder a male detainee of apparent Middle-Eastern descent whose name is unknown by means of shooting him with a firearm."
As a result of the January incident, Leahy is charged with premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit premeditated murder and being an accessory after the fact, the JMTC statement said.
The charge sheet states that, on or about Jan. 3, 2007, Leahy conspired with 1st Sgt. John E. Hatley at or near Baghdad, Iraq, to kill a male detainee.
The charge sheet also states that "… in order to effect the object of the conspiracy the said Sgt. Michael P. Leahy, Jr. and 1st Sgt. John E. Hatley did remove the detainee from the troop compartment of a Bradley Fighting Vehicle and 1st Sgt. Hatley did shoot the male detainee with a firearm."
Leahy and Hatley then allegedly put the body in a body bag to dispose of the remains and "hinder apprehension and punishment."
Leahy is also charged with premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit premeditated murder and obstruction of justice in the deaths of the four detainees in March or April.
An Army charge sheet states that Leahy "… did, at or near Baghdad, Iraq, between, on or about 10 March 2007 and 16 April 2007, with premeditation, murder four male detainees of apparent Middle-Eastern descent whose names are unknown by means of shooting them with firearms."
The charge sheet states that Leahy conspired with two other 172nd soldiers, Sgt. 1st Class Joseph P. Mayo and Master Sgt. John E. Hatley, to murder the Iraqis and "… did shoot the four male detainees with firearms."
Hatley and Mayo have been charged, along with Leahy, with premeditated murder for allegedly shooting four Iraqi detainees in the head and dumping their bodies in a canal.
An Article 32 hearing is an investigation to determine the appropriate disposition of any charges brought at court-martial.
Two 172nd soldiers — Spcs. Belmor Ramos, 23, and Stephan A. Ribordy, 25 — have already received prison sentences for their role in the deaths of the four Iraqis in March or April.
Ribordy pleaded guilty to being an accessory to murder and was sentenced to eight months in prison and given a bad-conduct discharge.
Ramos pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder, but his 40-year sentence was reduced to seven months as part of a pretrial agreement.
As part of the agreement, Ramos agreed to testify against other members of his unit.