EVANSVILLE, Ind. - Eight soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division will be court-martialed on murder charges stemming from their service in Iraq, including two who face a death sentence for allegedly raping a 14-year-old girl and killing her and her family, the military ordered Wednesday.
The Fort Campbell soldiers facing the death penalty are Sgt. Paul E. Cortez and Pfc. Jesse V. Spielman. Both are accused of raping Abeer Qassim al-Janabi in her family's home in Mahmoudiya, about 20 miles south of Baghdad, then killing her along with her parents and younger sister.
Spc. James P. Barker and Pfc. Bryan L. Howard are also accused in the rape and murders but will not face the death penalty, the military said in a statement.
Former Pvt. Steven Green, who was discharged for a personality disorder and arrested in North Carolina, will be tried in federal court in Kentucky. Green has pleaded not guilty to one count of rape and four counts of murder.
Military prosecutors have said the five - all from the division's 502nd Infantry Regiment - planned the attack from a checkpoint near the family's home, changed their clothing to hide their identities and set the girl's body on fire to destroy evidence.
Four soldiers from the division's 3rd Brigade also will be tried in a separate court-martial on charges of murdering Iraqi detainees in northern Iraq's Salahuddin province during a raid on a village.
Pfc. Corey R. Clagett, Spc. William B. Hunsaker, Staff Sgt. Raymond L. Girouard and Spc. Juston R. Graber are accused of murdering three Iraqi men taken from a house May 9 on a marshy island outside Samarra, about 60 miles north of Baghdad.