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Sentences of 3 Blackwater guards reduced from 2007 massacre

WASHINGTON — A federal judge has greatly reduced the sentences of three former Blackwater security contractors, in the latest development from a complex case dating back to the 2007 shootings of unarmed civilians in Baghdad.

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth on Thursday sentenced Paul Slough to 15 years in prison, Evan Liberty to 14 years and Dustin Heard to 12 years and seven months. All three had received 30-year terms in a 2015 trial, while a fourth defendant, Nicholas Slatten, was sentenced to life in prison.

Those convictions were all overturned on appeal in 2017. Slatten was retried separately and was once again sentenced to life last month.

The case stems from a chaotic 2007 incident when the men’s Blackwater unit opened fire at a Baghdad traffic circle, killing 14 unarmed Iraqis.

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