A federal appeals court has thrown out the murder conviction of an ex-Blackwater security guard and ordered three others to be resentenced in connection with the 2007 massacre of 14 unarmed Iraqi civilians in Baghdad. The high-profile incident called into question the role played by U.S. security contractors in Iraq.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said Friday that Nicholas Slatten, who was convicted in 2014 of first-degree murder and later sentenced to life in prison, should be allowed a new trial. The judges said that Slatten, who was the only defendant charged with murder, should have been tried separately and that a new trial would allow him to introduce evidence that he wasn’t the first to open fire.
Separately, the judges also ordered the resentencing of Slatten’s former Blackwater colleagues Paul Slough, Dustin Heard and Evan Liberty,