Sunday, Mar 18th

Last update05:20:13 AM GMT

You are here News Military U.S. Soldier Convicted In 'Thrill Kill' Of Afghans

U.S. Soldier Convicted In 'Thrill Kill' Of Afghans

E-mail Print PDF

Soclier convicted of Afghanistan thrill crimeA U.S. Army soldier accused of exhorting his bored underlings to slaughter three civilians for sport was convicted of murder, conspiracy and other charges Thursday in one of the most gruesome war crimes cases to emerge from the Afghan war.

Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs, of Billings, Mont., was the highest ranking of five soldiers charged in the deaths of the unarmed men during patrols in Kandahar province early last year. At his seven-day court martial at Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of Seattle, the 26-year-old acknowledged cutting fingers off corpses and yanking out a victim's tooth to keep as war trophies, "like keeping the antlers off a deer you'd shoot."

But he insisted he wasn't involved in the first or third killings, and in the second he merely returned fire.

Prosecutors said Gibbs and his co-defendants knew the victims posed no danger, but dropped weapons by their dead bodies to make them appear to have been combatants.

Three of the co-defendants pleaded guilty, and two of them testified against him, portraying him as an imposing, bloodthirsty leader. Gibbs' lawyer insisted they conspired to blame him for what they had done and told the five jurors the case represented "the ultimate betrayal of an infantryman."

The jury deliberated for about four hours before convicting him. He faces, at minimum, life with parole, and at maximum life without it. The sentencing hearing began immediately after the verdict was announced.

The investigation into the 5th Stryker Brigade unit exposed widespread misconduct — a platoon that was "out of control," in the words of a prosecutor, Maj. Robert Stelle. The wrongdoing included hash-smoking, the collection of illicit weapons, the mutilation and photography of Afghan remains, and the gang-beating of a soldier who reported the drug use.

In all, 12 soldiers were charged; all but 2 have now been convicted.


Most Recent Related Stories...

Seven U.S. service members killed in Iraq helicopter crash

7 US servicemen killed in helicopter crash in Iraq All seven service members aboard an American military helicopter that crashed in western Iraq late Thursday...

U.S. Navy sends two missile-guided Destroyers to Black Sea

US Navy sends destroyers to Black Sea The U.S. Navy announced last week that it will increase its presence in the Black...

Trump Is Dragging Feet on Transgender Ban Evidence, Judge Rules

Transgender troop ban The Trump administration has repeatedly failed to identify evidence it may use to defend the government’s...

Pentagon's 'deploy-or-be-removed' policy takes effect

Robert Wilkie, Dept. of Defense The Pentagon on Friday released new policy guidance on retention of non-deployable service members, which...
America's # 1 Enemy
Tee Shirt
& Help Support!
TVNL Tee Shirt
Conserve our Planet
& Help Support!
Get your 9/11 & Media
Deception Dollars
& Help Support!
The Loaded Deck
The First & the Best!
The Media & Bush Admin Exposed!