February 21, 2009 in Nation/World

Medic convicted in detainee deaths

 

A U.S. Army medic was convicted of murder Friday for his involvement in the execution-style slayings of four bound and blindfolded Iraqi detainees shot in the back of the head in the spring of 2007. The court sentenced him to life in prison.

Sgt. Michael Leahy Jr. was found guilty on charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder by the nine-person jury who had heard testimony about the killings at the court-martial at the Army’s Rose Barracks Courthouse since Wednesday. After a sentencing hearing, Leahy, 28, received a life sentence, with the possibility of parole.

Leahy, of Lockport, Ill., confessed to military investigators that he shot one of the prisoners point-blank in the back of the head with a 9 mm pistol. In closing arguments, Leahy’s civilian lawyer, Frank Spinner, argued that Leahy went along with the killings because he was dazed from a lack of sleep and numb from being in a war zone for months.

Toronto

Fishermen save trapped dolphins

Fishermen and a teenage boy from an eastern Canadian town rescued three exhausted dolphins that had been trapped behind drifting pack ice for nearly a week, the wife of the town’s mayor said Friday.

Sadie May said the men cut a path through the sludgy ice in Newfoundland’s Seal Cove harbor with their 18-foot trawler Thursday night, freeing the dolphins from an oval-shaped hole in the ice they had been swimming in for days.

Two dolphins followed the open channel immediately, but the third was too weak and tired, May said.

“He could barely swim about, the little guy, and the men knew something had to be done. A kid, 17 years old with a survival suit, jumped into the water and the dolphin just kind of attached to him and wrapped his flippers around him, like a friend or a mate,” the mayor’s wife told the Associated Press.

The teenager, Brandon Banks, helped tow the animal to open water, where it swam away, said May.

From wire reports

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