Thursday, August 5, 2004

Polygraph test
to be part of
soldier’s trial

A motion to throw out
the statement alleging a civilian
was shot while bound is denied

A U.S. military judge in Iraq has rejected a defense motion to throw out a Schofield Barracks soldier's polygraph test in which he allegedly acknowledged knowing that the Iraqi civilian he shot in the head was handcuffed.

The motion was one of several made Tuesday at the start of the court-martial of Pfc. Edward Richmond, 20, the Army said. He is charged with the unpremeditated murder of Muhamad Husain Kadir on Feb. 28 near Taal Al Jai. Richmond faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Kadir had been killed during a roundup of suspected terrorists in al-Hawija, a city of 80,000-100,000 southwest of Kirkuk that has been a center of insurgency since the U.S. invasion in 2003.

The prosecution contends that Richmond shot the handcuffed Kadir, who was running away.

Richmond is a member of the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, a unit of the 25th Infantry Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team, which left Wahiawa in January for a year-long deployment to Iraq.

In the past, Richmond has claimed, through a statement released by his family in Louisiana, that he was "acting in self-defense of himself and another soldier under the military rules of engagement, training he had received and orders he had been given."

The judge, Lt. Col. Robin Hall, rejected a government motion to preclude evidence that rules of engagement were changed to allow the shooting of any male who fled the village.

Government lawyers, headed by prosecutor Maj. Samuel Schubert, said Richmond never claimed he shot Kadir because he was trying to flee, but because the victim was a threat to a fellow soldier, Sgt. Jeffrey Waruch. That would make the rules of engagement evidence irrelevant, the prosecutor contended.

The judge, Lt. Col. Robin Hall, also awarded credit of 47 days of confinement against any sentence that Richmond might receive. Capt. Jennifer Crawford, Richmond's defense attorney, requested the credit.

Richmond, of Gonzales, La., is not in jail and has been performing clerical duties at the brigade headquarters in Kirkuk since the shooting.

But Crawford maintained that her client was treated unfairly and was effectively punished after the shooting, noting he was separated from his friends, not permitted to carry a weapon and ridiculed by the company's first sergeant and executive officer.

25th Infantry Division



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