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Sgt. Michael Leahy Jr. smokes a cigarette during a recess in his court-martial at Vilseck, Germany, for the alleged murder of detainees in Iraq.
Sgt. Michael Leahy Jr. smokes a cigarette during a recess in his court-martial at Vilseck, Germany, for the alleged murder of detainees in Iraq. (Seth Robson / S&S)

A 172nd Infantry Brigade soldier will be tried in military court for allegedly shooting five Iraqi detainees in two separate incidents while deployed to Iraq in 2007.

A Joint Multinational Training Command press statement issued Tuesday said Sgt. Michael P. Leahy Jr., 26, will face a court-martial on several charges, including premeditated murder.

No trial date is set for the Grafenwöhr, Germany-based soldier.

Leahy earlier this month waived his right to an Article 32 hearing, JMTC officials said. An Article 32 hearing is an investigation to determine the appropriate disposition of any charges brought at court-martial.

Leahy is the first of three soldiers — all formerly assigned to the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment — to face formal charges for his role in the deaths of four unarmed Iraqi detainees near a canal in southwest Baghdad in March or April 2007.

Leahy and Sgt. 1st Class Joseph P. Mayo confessed their roles to Army investigators in January, according to sworn statements entered into evidence during a recent Article 32 for two soldiers who were in the area during the alleged crime.

The third soldier, 1st Sgt. John E. Hatley, apparently didn’t make a statement to investigators.

For his alleged role in the spring 2007 incident, Leahy faces court-martial for premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit premeditated murder and obstruction of justice, according to the JMTC press statement.

Leahy also faces charges in the killing of an Iraqi detainee in early January 2007 at or near Baghdad, according to the JMTC press statement.

According to an Army charge sheet released earlier this month, Leahy allegedly killed a male detainee of "apparent Middle-Eastern descent" by shooting him with a firearm.

Leahy faces charges of premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit premeditated murder and being an accessory after the fact. He allegedly conspired with Hatley to kill the detainee, according to the Army charge sheet.

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