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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 11:19 a.m., Thursday, August 5, 2004

Schofield soldier is sentenced to 3 years

By Peter Boylan
Advertiser Staff Writer

A Schofield Barracks soldier was sentenced to three years in jail today and dishonorably discharged from the Army for shooting a handcuffed and unarmed Iraqi cowherder.

A military panel consisting of five officers and five enlisted men found Pfc. Edward L. Richmond Jr. guilty of voluntary manslaughter for shooting Muhamad Husain Kadir in the back of his head on Feb. 28 near Taal Al Jal, the Army said. Richmond was originally charged with unpremeditated murder, and a conviction would have resulted in a mandatory term of life in prison with the possibility of parole. But the panel reduced the charge to voluntary manslaughter after deliberating for 90 minutes.

Richmond was also forced to forfeit all pay and will be demoted to the rank of private.

Richmond is assigned to Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, at Schofield Barracks.

The government's key witness, Sgt. Jeffrey Waruch, testified that he and Richmond saw Kadir about an hour before the shooting while their unit was conducting a raid in Kadir's village. Waruch also testified that Kadir didn't look suspicious nor did he appear to have a weapon, the Army said.

Waruch went on to say he and Richmond were ordered by radio to detain all male members of Kadir's village. He said when they approached Kadir to flex-cuff him, Kadir resisted. Waruch said once Kadir was handcuffed he began to lead him away when Kadir stumbled.

Waruch testified that Richmond shot him in the back of the head from two meters away, the Army said.

Two government witnesses, both unidentified by the Army, said they heard Richmond talk about wanting to kill an Iraqi.

The first testified that Richmond requested to shoot Kadir well before the radio message to detain male members of the village came through. The second testified he had heard Richmond talk about wanting to kill an Iraqi.

Richmond's defense was based on the claim that he never saw Kadir flexed-cuffed and that he shot the cowherder in defense of Waruch.

The government countered that Richmond admitted to never seeing Kadir with a weapon, the Army said. The Army also said Richmond admitted to requesting to shoot Kadir.

Richmond will be taken to Camp Arifjan in Kuwait where he will be prepared for transport to a confinement facility where he will serve his sentence. He will be credited with 47 days of confinement. Richmond's mother, Darce Richmond, said the family will appeal the sentence. Richmond's father, Edward Sr. is in Iraq with his son.

Reach Peter Boylan at 535-8110 or pboylan@honoluluadvertiser.com