Ex-G.I. may face death in Iraqi rape, killing case

Steven Green, a former 101st Airborne Division soldier, was indicted Nov. 1 in the rape and murder of the girl and the slayings of three others in her family in March 2006.AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

Federal prosecutors filed notice Tuesday that they will seek the death penalty if former soldier Steven D. Green is convicted of killing an Iraqi family and raping a 14-year-old girl.

The notice, filed in U.S. District Court, cites 12 alleged offenses related to the slayings in the March 2006 slayings in the town of Mahmoudiya, including that the deaths were premeditated, involved sexual abuse and were committed with a firearm.

Green, a former 101st Airborne Division soldier, was indicted Nov. 1 in the rape and murder of the girl and the slayings of three others in her family. Two soldiers other soldiers accused in the case avoided the death penalty by making plea agreements with military prosecutors for lesser sentences ranging from 90 to 100 years. A third soldier was sentenced to five years in prison but will not serve more than 27 months. Each of the soldiers agreed to help prosecutors prepare a case against Green.

Patrick Bouldin, the assistant federal public defender representing Green, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Discharged because of personality disorder
The rape of the Iraqi girl and the slayings of her and three family members in the town about 20 miles south of Baghdad were among the worst in a series of alleged attacks on civilians and other abuses by military personnel in Iraq.

Green was charged in a federal indictment with conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit aggravated sexual abuse, murder, aggravated sexual abuse, aggravated child sexual abuse, obstruction of justice and four counts of use of a firearm in a crime of violence.

Green served 11 months with the 101st Airborne Division, which is based at Fort Campbell on the Kentucky-Tennessee border. He received an honorable discharge and left the Army in May 2006. He was discharged because of an "anti-social personality disorder," according to military officials and court documents.

He is being tried in civilian court in Paducah, Kentucky, because he was discharged before he was charged. No trial date has been set.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Marisa Ford declined to comment on the filing.

Justice Department spokesman Bryan Sierra said he could not confirm whether any other soldier has been tried as a civilian for crimes committed while serving in Iraq.

Troubled from time in Triangle of Death
Green was arrested in June 2006 in North Carolina as he traveled after attending the funeral of a soldier who was kidnapped and killed in Iraq, investigators said. Since then, he has been held in Kentucky without bond.

Investigators said the soldiers set fire to the girl's body to destroy evidence.

Soldiers have testified in military courts-martial and investigation hearings that the 13-month tour for Green's unit, the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, was bloody and grueling.

Dozens were killed in the unit's yearlong deployment and half of the battalion, including Green, sought help for combat stress.

An Associated Press investigation in January found that an Army psychiatry team diagnosed Green as a threat to Iraqi civilians four months before the rape and murders.

According to military documents, Green was treated with drugs to regulate his mood before returning to duty in a violent stretch of desert in the southern Baghdad suburbs known as the "Triangle of Death."