On March 23, 2011, Spc. Jeremy Morlock pleaded guilty to three counts of murder in connection with the death of Afghan civilians in Kandahar province between January and May 2010. Morlock also pleaded to one count each of assault, conspiracy, obstructing justice and illegal drug use in exchange for a maximum sentence of 24 years in prison. Morlock was charged in June 2010 following a Department of Defense (DOD) investigation into the deaths. As part of his plea bargain, Morlock testified against his co-defendants. Five other soldiers in Morlock's unit, the 5th Stryker Brigade, were also charged with the deaths of the three Afghan men. Pfc. Andrew Holmes pleaded guilty to one of the murders and was sentenced in September 2011. Spc. Adam Winfield also pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter. Sgt. Calvin Gibbs was convicted of the three murders and sentenced to life in prison in November 2011. And Staff Sgt. David Bramm was convicted of charges, including attempting to cover up the murders, and sentenced to 5 years in prison. The Army dropped charges against the final defendant Army Specialist Michael Wagoner in February 2012.
Learn more about Afghanistan and the laws governing war crimes from the JURIST news archive.