WASHINGTON (AP) - Five Blackwater Worldwide security guards have
pleaded not guilty to manslaughter charges in the 2007 shooting
deaths of 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad.
The Blackwater guards were arraigned in front of U.S. District
Judge Ricardo M. Urbina on Tuesday.
The not guilty pleas were entered by former Marines Donald Ball
of West Valley City, Utah; Dustin Heard of Knoxville, Tenn.; Evan
Liberty of Rochester, N.H.; and Army veterans Nick Slatten of
Sparta, Tenn., and Paul Slough of Keller, Texas.
Prosecutors said the men unleashed a gruesome attack on unarmed
Iraqis, including women and children.
The Blackwater guards contend they opened fire after coming
under attack when a car in a State Department convoy they were
escorting broke down.