Former Blackwater employee sentenced to life in prison for 2007 Baghdad shooting

Former Blackwater employee sentenced to life in prison for 2007 Baghdad shooting
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A former Blackwater security guard was sentenced to life in prison without parole Wednesday for his role in the 2007 shooting of several unarmed Iraqi civilians, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia said.

Nicholas Slatten, 35, was charged in 2014 with first-degree murder in the killing of Ahmed Haithem Ahmed Al Rubia'y, one of the 14 Iraqi civilians who were killed in Nisour Square in Baghdad.

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Three other Blackwater contractors were found guilty in 2014 on charges of voluntary manslaughter, attempted manslaughter and other counts.

Slatten’s conviction was overturned by the District of Columbia Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals in 2017. The appeals court ordered the three other contractors to be re-sentenced, and a proceeding is set for Sept. 5.

A judge earlier this year declared a mistrial in Slatten's retrial after the jury could not reach a unanimous decision. He was eventually convicted in December of last year.

On Sept. 16, 2007, Slatten and other Blackwater security guards opened fire near a busy traffic circle in Baghdad, killing 14 civilians and injuring 18 others in what became known as the Nisour Square massacre. The deceased included 10 men, two women and two young boys. 

According to prosecutors, Slatten was the first to open fire and did so without provocation.