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08-04-07, 07:44 PM #1
110-year sentence in Iraq rape-killing
By RYAN LENZ, Associated Press Writer
28 minutes ago
A soldier convicted of rape and murder in the death of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and the slayings of her family was sentenced Saturday to 110 years in prison.
The sentence was part of a plea agreement attorneys for Pfc. Jesse Spielman had made with prosecutors that limited the number of years he could serve in prison, regardless of the jury's recommendation.
Spielman was convicted late Friday of rape, conspiracy to commit rape, housebreaking with intent to rape and four counts of felony murder.
Military prosecutors did not say Spielman took part in the rape or murders but alleged that he went to the house knowing what the others intended to do and served as a lookout.
Spielman, 23, of Chambersburg, Pa., received the longest sentence of four soldiers who have been convicted. Three other soldiers pleaded guilty under agreements with prosecutors for their roles in the assault and were given sentences ranging from five to 100 years.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) — A military jury heard arguments Saturday about whether a soldier who was to be sentenced to life in prison in the slayings of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and her family should be eligible for parole.
Jurors deliberated much of Friday evening before convicting Pfc. Jesse Spielman, 22, of conspiracy to commit rape, rape, housebreaking with intent to commit rape and four counts of felony murder, despite testimony that cast doubt on his involvement.
Spielman, of Chambersburg, Pa., faces a mandatory life sentence, but the jury could allow him to become eligible for parole
He was charged in connection with the March 12, 2006, rape and slaying of Abeer Qassim al-Janabi and the killings of her family. The attack took place in Mahmoudiya, a village about 20 miles south of Baghdad.
Military prosecutors did not say Spielman took part in the rape or murders, but alleged he went to the house knowing what the others intended to do and served as a lookout.
Spielman had pleaded guilty on Monday to lesser charges of conspiracy to obstructing justice, arson, wrongfully touching a corpse and drinking.
Spielman's grandmother, Nancy Hess, collapsed outside the courtroom after the verdict was read and prosecutor Maj. William Fischbach ran to her side and called 911. Soldiers in Spielman's unit fanned the woman with napkins.
Spielman's sister, Paige Gerlach, screamed: "I hate the government. You people put him (in Iraq) and now, this happened."
Defense attorneys left the courthouse immediately following the verdict and could not immediately be reached for comment.
Prosecutors rested their case Thursday amid struggles to overcome a fellow soldier's recanting of a story that Spielman acted as a lookout during the attack last year.
Spc. James Barker, who has admitted his own role in the assault, said in earlier testimony that he had allowed investigators to draft sworn statements for him that implicated Spielman in the crime.
Barker testified Wednesday that several portions of the document were untrue, including references to Spielman's role in the conspiracy to attack the family and his knowledge of plans to rape the girl.
But another soldier convicted in the attack, Sgt. Paul E. Cortez, testified that Spielman stood guard as his fellow soldiers raped the girl. Cortez said Spielman was within a few feet of the others as they held down the screaming girl but did nothing to stop them.
Barker, Cortez and another soldier, Pfc. Bryan L. Howard, pleaded guilty for their roles in the slayings and received sentences of five to 100 years under plea agreements with prosecutors.
Steven D. Green, who was discharged from the Army before being charged, faces a possible death sentence when he is tried in federal court in Kentucky. He has pleaded not guilty to charges that include murder and sexual assault.
Barker and Cortez have given investigators conflicting statements about whether Spielman knew of the plan to rape the girl and was present when they discussed it over swigs from bottles of whiskey and gin mixed with energy drinks, according to testimony.
During their courts-martial, Barker and Cortez testified they took turns raping the girl while Green shot and killed her mother, father and younger sister. Green shot the girl in the head after raping her, they said.
The girl's body was set on fire with kerosene to destroy the evidence, according to previous testimony.
Fort Campbell is a sprawling military post on the Kentucky-Tennessee border.
Copyright © 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
Copyright © 2007 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.
A smile cost nothing, but gives so much.
It enriches those who receive it,without making poorer those who give.It takes but a moment, but the memoryof it sometimes lasts forever.
None is so rich or mighty that hecan get along without it,and none is so poor but thathe can be made rich by it.
A smile creates happiness in the home,fosters goodwill in business,and is the countersign of friendship.
It brings rest to the weary,cheer to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad,and it is nature's best antidote for trouble.
Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed,or stolen, for it is something that is of novalue to anyone until it is given away.
Some people are too tired to give you a smile.Give them one of yours, as none needs a smileso much as he who has no more to give.
- author unknown
08-04-07, 08:57 PM #2
Even if all the sick SOB did was stand guard he is just as bad as the others he has disgraced his uniform and his country and should be glad it was not the death penalty.
Last edited by Ianl6; 08-04-07 at 08:58 PM. Reason: typoPublic conscience message board
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08-04-07, 11:19 PM #3
Fuck this slimy POS. Uniform or not, he's a disgrace to our services, and he deserves to fry."If anything worthwhile comes of this tragedy, it should be the realization by every citizen that often the only thing that stands between them and losing everything they hold dear... is the man wearing a badge." -- Ronald Reagan, in the wake of the deaths of 4 CHP troopers in the Newhall Incident, 1970
The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "121Traffic" on O/R.
08-05-07, 12:26 AM #4
or die by firing squadHe who has the money, signs the cheques.
He who signs the cheques, makes the rules.
He who makes the rules, has the power.
He who has the power, has the money.
08-05-07, 09:39 AM #5http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm...ndid=197722498
"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell
08-05-07, 10:30 AM #6Public conscience message board
post on a board with a heart.
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