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November 3rd, 2006 - Former Fort Campbell Soldier Indicted in Iraq Murders, Rape

News article by the Courier-Journal

Summary of the Mahmudiya Massacre

Former Fort Campbell Soldier Indicted in Iraq Murders, Rape


By Jason Riley

The Courier-Journal

Friday, November 3, 2006


The former U.S. Army private charged with raping a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and murdering her, along with three members of her family, was indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury in Louisville.


The indictment charges Steven D. Green, 21, with acting in an "especially heinous, cruel, and depraved manner," alleging that the killings involved "torture and serious physical abuse."


Green faces charges including four counts of murder and sexual abuse.


If convicted, he could face the death penalty or spend the rest of his life in prison, according to a statement from the Justice Department.


The indictment alleges that Green and others sexually abused the teen, then burned her body to hide evidence after the March 12 attack. Green and the other men killed the girl, her father, mother and 6-year-old sister, according to the indictment.


Green, who grew up in Midland, Texas, was discharged in May for a severe personality disorder.


His case is in the federal court system in the Western District of Kentucky - which includes Fort Campbell, home of Green's former unit, the 101st Airborne - because the charges were brought after his discharge.


The Army has charged five men who are still soldiers.


Earlier this month, it announced that two Fort Campbell soldiers face the death penalty - Sgt. Paul E. Cortez and Pfc. Jesse V. Spielman - in the rape and murders in Mahmoudiya, about 20 miles south of Baghdad.


Spc. James P. Barker and Pfc. Bryan L. Howard are also accused in the rape and murders but will not face the death penalty, the military said.


And Sgt. Anthony W. Yribe is accused of failing to report the attack but is not alleged to have participated.


Barker has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in their case against others, including Green. In a June 30 statement, Barker described playing cards and drinking Iraqi whiskey as the defendants plotted the attack.


The Iraqi victims, according to yesterday's indictment, were "particularly vulnerable" given their youth.


The indictment alleges that the men left a traffic control point and walked into the home of 14-year-old Abeer Kassem Hamza Al-Janabi, her younger sister and their parents.


It says Green shot and killed everyone but Abeer, who was then stripped and sexually assaulted by Green and "others." Green then shot and killed Abeer, the indictment reads.


The soldiers then destroyed, mutilated and concealed evidence, which included the burning of Abeer's body and the clothing the soldiers wore during the slayings, the indictment says.


The AK-47 used in the killings was thrown into a canal.


Nine soldiers from the 101st Airborne are accused of wartime atrocities stemming from the division's yearlong deployment that ended in September.


Green was arrested June 30 and appeared in federal court in Louisville on July 6, entering not guilty pleas.


The case is expected to be heard in Paducah.


The charges against Green are conspiracy to commit murder; conspiracy to commit aggravated sexual abuse; four counts of premeditated murder; four counts of felony murder; aggravated sexual abuse; aggravated sexual abuse with children; four counts of using a firearm during a crime of violence; and obstruction of justice.


The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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