CNN reports that former Army PFC Steven D. Green, the soldier at the center of the 2006 rape and murder case originating in Mahmoudiya, Iraq, has committed suicide in a federal prison in Arizona.
Green was convicted of the rape and murder of Abeer Qassim al-Janabi, a 14-year-old Iraqi girl. According to the prosecution, Green, along with several of his fellow soldiers, planned the attack days in advance. While the others were raping Abeer, Green murdered three members of the girl’s family: her father, Qasim Hamza Raheem; mother, Fakhriyah Taha Muhsin; and six-year-old sister, Hadeel Qasim Hamza. He then raped Abeer and killed her. The attack was later cited by Iraqi insurgents as the basis for an attack on an Army outpost in which one soldier, SPC David Babineau, was killed, and two others, PFCs Thomas Lowell Tucker and Kristian Menchaca, were captured, tortured, and murdered.
Green’s involvement in the Mahmoudiya killings surfaced after he had already been discharged by the Army. He was charged under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act, and convicted in 2009. The federal jury was unable to decide whether to invoke the death penalty, and Green was sentenced to life in prison. In a Daily Mail interview following his conviction, he was quoted as saying he “didn’t think of Iraqis as humans.”
Three other soldiers were convicted of rape and murder and were sentenced by courts-martial to confinement ranging from 90 to 110 years. Two more soldiers were convicted of obstruction of justice in an attempt to cover up the crimes, and received lesser sentences.
According to CNN, Green hanged himself on Thursday, and died two days later.
The Green case was one of our Top-10 stories for 2009. Additional CAAFlog coverage can be found here, here, here, and here.