An Army officer has been found guilty of two counts of murder after ordering his platoon to
open fire on three unarmed Afghan menwho were approaching on a motorcycle in July 2012, The Army Times reports.
1st. Lt. Clint Lorance, a platoon leader serving in the 82nd Airborne Division, was sentenced to 20 years in prison, forfeiture of pay and allowances, and dishonorable discharge from the military.
Army Times has more:
Prosecutors said Lorance ordered his men to open fire immediately in violation of the military’s rules of engagement, which requires soldiers to hold fire unless they have evidence of hostile action or hostile intent. They said three men on a motorcycle approached the patrol in July 2012. Two were killed and the third ran away.
Although the military’s rules of engagement often vary depending on battlefield circumstances, troops have always been told to hold their fire unless they feel threatened, such as having a weapon pointed in the direction of U.S. forces.
One soldier among those ordered to open fire by Lorance testified against him at trial, saying “my life wasn’t threatened at the time,” according to Fox News Insider.
Lorance will serve his time at the Army Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
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