Mur­der of 3 Amer­i­cans brings life for sol­dier

The Buffalo News - - WORLD NEWS -

AMMAN, Jor­dan – A Jor­da­nian sol­dier was con­victed of mur­der and sen­tenced to life in prison Mon­day for the deaths of three U.S. sol­diers whom he shot at an air base in Novem­ber.

The sol­dier, 1st Sgt. Ma’arik al-Tawayha, 39, had pleaded not guilty, say­ing that he opened fire be­cause the Amer­i­cans had failed to stop their car as they ap­proached the gate of the air base, and that he thought the base was un­der at­tack. “I was do­ing my job,” he said as he was led from the court­room.

Al­though Jor­da­nian of­fi­cials ini­tially be­lieved his ac­count – an­ger­ing their U.S. coun­ter­parts – they later backed away from it, and charged al-Tawayha with pre­med­i­tated mur­der.

The trial, which lasted more than a month, did not es­tab­lish a mo­tive for the killings, but Jor­da­nian of­fi­cials said there was no ev­i­dence that al-Tawayha had ties to ex­trem­ist groups.

The FBI has opened an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the case, as is com­mon in mat­ters that po­ten­tially in­volve ter­ror­ism.

The vic­tims – Staff Sgt. Matthew C. Lewellen, 27, of Kirksville, Mo.; Staff Sgt. Kevin J. McEn­roe, 30, of Tuc­son, Ariz.; and Staff Sgt. James F. Mo­ri­arty, 27, of Ker­rville, Texas – were killed shortly be­fore noon Nov. 4.

– New York Times

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