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September 8, 09

NEWS / Former Ft. Campbell Soldier Sentenced to Life in Prison After Conviction on Charges Related to Death

WASHINGTON—A former Ft. Campbell, Ky., soldier was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Thomas B. Russell to life in prison after being convicted on May 7, 2009, of charges arising out of the rape of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and the murder of the girl and her family, Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Candace G. Hill of the Western District of Kentucky announced today.

Steven D. Green, 24, was convicted by a federal jury in Louisville, Ky., on all charged counts, including premeditated murder, aggravated sexual abuse, felony murder, conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit aggravated sexual abuse, use of firearms during the commission of violent crimes, and obstruction of justice. The jury that convicted Green said it was unable to reach a unanimous verdict on whether the defendant should be sentenced to death. Because the jury did not unanimously reach a decision on the death penalty, the court sentenced Green to life in prison. Green was indicted by a federal grand jury on Nov. 2, 2006.

Green was charged with the crimes following an incident that occurred on March 12, 2006, in and around Mahmoudiyah, Iraq. According to evidence presented at trial, while manning a military checkpoint, Green and other fellow soldiers discussed raping and killing Iraqis. Trial evidence showed that Green and others then took off their uniforms, put on black clothing, left their post and forced their way into the nearby home of the Al-Janabi family. Evidence presented at trial proved that Green then took the mother, father, and 6-year-old into a bedroom where he shot and killed them. In the living room, Green and the other soldiers raped the 14-year-old and then Green repeatedly shot her in the face and set her body on fire. Green then tried to blow up the house, according to trial evidence, after which the soldiers returned to their checkpoint. After committing the rape and murders, trial testimony revealed that Green bragged to others that the experience was “awesome.”

“While the scars from these tragic crimes, including the senseless murder of four innocent Iraqi civilians, cannot be erased by the jury’s conviction and sentence of Steven Green, we sincerely hope the victims’ family may find some solace in the United States’ commitment to justice in this case,” said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division. “The defendant’s brutal actions detailed at trial are an affront to the rule of law and stand in stark contrast to the admirable conduct of the brave men and women of the U.S. armed forces who serve our country with honor.”

“Steven Green’s conviction and sentence are the culmination of the hard work, professionalism, and dedication of the trial attorneys Marisa Ford, Jim Lesousky, and Brian Skaret, and of the agents of the FBI and the Army’s Criminal Investigative Division. I am proud that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Kentucky could play a major role in bringing this case to justice, particularly on behalf of the surviving victims of these crimes,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Candace G. Hill. “The jury’s conviction and sentence reflect the shocking nature of these crimes. The honorable service in Iraq of thousands of this country’s armed forces should not be tarnished by this shameful event.”

“Fortunately, the brutal and senseless crimes perpetrated in this case are uncommon on the battlefield, but nevertheless, important to investigate and to prosecute,” said Assistant Director Kevin L. Perkins of the FBI Criminal Investigative Division. “The FBI remains committed to working with our military law enforcement partners to uncover any such crimes occurring domestically or abroad.”

“We sincerely hope that today’s sentencing helps to bring the loved ones of this Iraqi family some semblance of closure and comfort after this horrific and senseless act,” said Brigadier General Rodney Johnson, the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command. “Our agents worked tirelessly and shoulder to shoulder with the FBI and the attorneys. The sentencing is a true testament to our commitment and dedication to bring anyone who commits a crime while serving in the U.S. military to justice, regardless of the circumstances.”

Green was discharged from the U.S. Army in May 2006 and was prosecuted in U.S. District Court under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (MEJA), a statute that gives U.S. courts jurisdiction to prosecute crimes committed outside the United States by, among others, persons who served with the armed forces but who are no longer subject to military prosecution. Green’s co-conspirators were prosecuted by military authorities under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Green, formerly stationed at Ft. Campbell and deployed to Iraq while serving with the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army, was arrested by the FBI on June 30, 2006, on federal charges of murder and rape based on MEJA.


Tags: criminal investigation,


AnnaMaria Realbuto
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