U.S. court upends murder conviction of Blackwater contractor

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court has overturned the first-degree murder conviction of a former Blackwater security contractor. The court has ordered a new trial for the man who prosecutors said fired the first shots in the 2007 slayings of 14 Iraqi civilians at a crowded traffic circle in Baghdad.

In a split opinion, the three-judge panel in Washington ruled Friday the trial court erred in 2014 by not allowing Nicholas Slatten to be tried separately from his three co-defendants. The 33-year-old contractor from Tennessee is serving a life sentence. The slayings strained international relations and drew scrutiny of American contractors’ role in the Iraq War.

The ruling orders new sentences for three other contractors who each received 30-year prison terms for manslaughter and firearms convictions.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s