A jury of nine women and three men deliberated for a total of ten hours and forty minutes before convicting ex-U.S. Army Private Steven Dale Green on all sixteen counts. Eight of these counts could bring the death penalty.
In 2006 while serving in Iraq, Green and four others raped 14-year-old Abeer al-Janabi, then murdered her, her parents and her 6-year-old sister. Green's four accomplices were convicted in a military tribunal. Two of these men testified during Green's trail, fingering him as the one who instigated the massacre. Green, unlike the other four, entered a plea of not guilty.
Green stands convicted of:
-Conspiracy to commit murder
-Conspiracy to sexual assault
-Premeditated murder, four counts
-Murder committed during the act of sexual abuse, four counts
-Aggravated sexual abuse
-Use of a firearm during a crime of violence, four counts
-Obstruction of justice
As the jury entered the courtroom, Green (red sweater vest) let out a large anxious sigh, knowing the weight of the words to come. "The court will now publish the verdict," said Judge Thomas Russell as Green interlaced his fingers and clasped them over his chin. Russell read the verdict flatly. Green went from starring at the floor to eying the jury. His shoulders dropped as he was convicted of count number eleven, aggravated sexual abuse. A paralegal at the defense table consoled Green by patting him on his back, herself breaking down in tears.
After Russell finished reading the verdicts, Defense Attorney Scott Wendelsdorf, intending to ensure finality, requested the jury be polled. Russell asked each juror if they agreed with these verdicts, receiving a simple yes from all jurors. Green watched without expression.
Darren C. Wolff, a Military Attorney for the Defense, later said:
We never denied his involvement in this case. Is this verdict a surprise to us? No. The goal in this case has always been to save our client's life. We're going to go to the most important phase, which is the sentencing phase, and we're going to accomplish that goal.
The sentencing phase will begin on Monday, May 11th.
Evan Bright is a senior at Paducah Tilghman Highschool in Paducah, KY. He writes and photographs for his high school newspaper, The Tilghman Bell. Since the USA V. Green began on April 27th, 2009, he has been present every day, blogging/tweeting/reporting about the trial's proceedings. He will continue to chronicle the proceedings until the conclusion of the trial.