2 ex-Blackwater contractors ordered to prison for killing Afghans

April 16, 2013 at 3:12 PM
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NORFOLK, Va., April 16 (UPI) -- Two former Blackwater contractors have been ordered to report to federal prison after exhausting appeals for convictions they killed civilians in Afghanistan.

Christopher Drotleff of Virginia Beach, Va., and Justin Cannon of Corpus Christi, Texas, were each convicted of involuntary manslaughter for fatally shooting two Afghan men and injured another, The (Norfolk) Virginian Pilot reported Tuesday.

Investigators said the two Americans had left their military base without authorization to transport local interpreters. The lead vehicle in the convoy crashed and overturned, and Cannon and Drotleff opened fire into the back of a civilian car that tried to pass the accident scene.

A passenger in the car, was killed and the driver seriously injured. Another person who happened to be walking his dog nearby was also killed in the shooting.

Drotleff was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison; Cannon will serve 30 months.

The pair appealed their convictions to the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals and lost. The Supreme Court turned down their petition.

A U.S. District Court judge said the men have until May 22 to surrender to the U.S. Marshals Service.

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