Court-martial set for soldier charged in Iraqi man's death
A Hawaii-based soldier accused of killing an Iraqi man while attempting to arrest him has been charged with murder, a 1st Infantry Division spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday.
Pfc. Edward L. Richmond, 20, of the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, is scheduled for court-martial about Aug. 1, said Maj. Debra Stewart. She said Maj. Gen. John Batiste, commander of Task Force Danger, referred the charges to a court-martial Tuesday after reviewing an Article 32 report — the military equivalent of a grand jury investigation — of the killing.
The division released few new details about the crime, but a charge sheet obtained from the division’s staff judge advocate identified the victim as Muhamad Husain Kadir. The charge sheet said he was shot in the head near Taal Al Jal, Iraq.
Army officials previously had confirmed Kadir had been killed during a roundup of suspected terrorists in al-Hawijah, a city southwest of Kirkuk that has been a center of insurgency since the U.S. invasion in spring 2003.
Richmond’s unit is part of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 25th Infantry Division, which is based at Schofield Barracks on Oahu. The brigade deployed to Kirkuk in January and is operating under the leadership of the 1st ID.
Richmond has been charged under Article 118 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Prosecutors must prove that the killing was either planned, reckless or occurred while committing another serious felony. It is a capital offense but, according to the charge sheet, prosecutors don’t intend to seek the death penalty. Richmond has not been jailed, according to the document. But his father, Edward Richmond Sr. of Gonzales, La., told the Honolulu Advertiser newspaper that his son has been suspended from active duty and must stay at Kirkuk Air Base.
“We all just wish that it was over with and that it never had to come to this, but I guess it has,” the elder Richmond told the newspaper. “We stand behind our son 100 percent.”