Hearing set for soldier in detainee deaths case
November 30, 2008
A pretrial hearing for a soldier accused in the deaths of four Iraqi detainees is set for 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Rose Barracks Courthouse in Vilseck, Germany, according to the 7th U.S. Army Joint Multinational Training Command.
Sgt. 1st Class Joseph P. Mayo, 27, is charged with one specification each of premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit premeditated murder and obstruction of justice, according to a JMTC press statement.
He is one of three Germany-based soldiers accused of shooting four unarmed Iraqi detainees near a canal in southwest Baghdad in March or April 2007. Sgt. Michael P. Leahy Jr., 26, and 1st Sgt. John E. Hatley, 40, have waived their rights to an Article 32 hearing, according to JMTC officials.
All three were members of 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment at the time of the incident. The unit has since reflagged and is now part of the 172nd Infantry Brigade.
The soldiers are based at Grafenwöhr. None is in pretrial confinement, according to JMTC officials.
An Article 32 is the U.S. military’s equivalent of a grand jury hearing, to determine whether the case should go to trial. The proceeding is open to the public.