Read: Military Documents Accuse Five U.S. Soldiers of Slaying Afghan Civilians
In the first half of this year, members of a U.S. Army planned and executed the shootings of three Afghan civilians for sheer sport, according to Army charge documents.
The Washington Post and others have detailed the circumstances of the attacks, which five members of the 5th Stryker Combat Brigade are accused of orchestrating. Seven others have also been charged with crimes related to the case.
The charges involve three incidents, each of which occurred when a soldier threw a grenade in the vicinity of an Afghan civilian, creating a pretext for others to open fire as if they believed the civilian had thrown the grenade, according to the documents.
Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs, who other members of the unit identified as the ringleader, is accused of involvement in all three killings. So is Specialist Jeremy Morlock, who according to the Times had played a significant role in helping the Army build its case. Morlock's lawyer, the Times reported, is seeking to have client's statements withdrawn.
The accused soldiers have denied wrongdoing through attorneys and family members. Army officials declined to comment, citing an ongoing investigation.
Pre-trial hearings are scheduled for this fall at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, a military base in Washington state.
Our Hottest Stories
- Segregation Now
- Beyond Ratings: More Tools Coming to Pick Your Doctor
- Even After Doctors Are Sanctioned or Arrested, Medicare Keeps Paying
- Long After Sandy, Red Cross Post-Storm Spending Still a Black Box
- Shake-Up Inside Forensic Credentialing Org
- Brooklyn DA Moves to Free Man after Long-Buried Evidence Surfaces
- The U.S. Government: Paying to Undermine Internet Security, Not to Fix It
- How the Labor Department Has Let Companies Off the Hook for Unpaid Internships
- What Newly Released Docs Tell Us About the IRS and How It Handles Dark Money Groups
- Labor Department Intervenes on Behalf of Hearst Interns