Judge Lets Murder, Rape Charges Stand Against Ex-GI in Iraqi Girl's Slaying

Prosecutors did not abuse their subpoena power in charging a former soldier with raping an Iraqi girl and killing her family, according to a court decision announced Monday.

Defense attorneys wanted the indictment against former soldier Steven D. Green dismissed, saying prosecutors wrongly used the grand jury to subpoena his military and medical records.

But in a decision dated Friday and released Monday, U.S. District Judge Thomas B. Russell found no evidence of wrongdoing and let stand the rape and murder charges against Green.

Green, 21, is accused of being the ringleader of a group of five soldiers in the March 12, 2005, killings of 14-year-old Abeer Qassim al-Janabi, her parents and younger sister.

His attorneys, federal public defenders Scott Wendelsdorf and Patrick Bouldin also said prosecutors improperly used the grand jury to explore possible mitigating evidence that Green could present if the death penalty is sought in the case.

The judge said the possible mitigating evidence could also show whether Green could know right from wrong and form the intent to harm someone, which are key pieces of information in deciding how to charge someone.

Prosecutors have not announced whether they will seek the death penalty for Green if he is convicted.

Green was dismissed from the Army shortly before the allegations surfaced in June.

Four other soldiers were charged in military courts with allegedly taking part in the attack.

One was sentenced to 90 years in military prison for murder and another was sentenced to 100 years in prison for his involvement in the attack. Two others await courts-martial.