A former Blackwater Worldwide guard was convicted of murder, and three co-workers were found guilty of voluntary manslaughter in the 2007 shooting deaths of 14 unarmed civilians in Baghdad, an incident that stained the U.S. record in Iraq and changed the use of military contractors.
Nicholas Slatten was convicted of murdering Ahmed Haithem Ahmed Al Rubia’y, a medical student who was driving toward the guards in Baghdad’s Nisour Square. A federal jury in Washington announced the verdicts after deliberating since Sept. 2, following a 10-week trial.
The guards, who were hired to protect State Department personnel, were accused by prosecutors of going on an out-of-control shooting spree, firing recklessly on unarmed civilians, killing 14 and wounding 17. Defense lawyers argued the guards had reason to fear they were under attack and fired in self-defense following a car explosion.
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