A deadlocked jury in Washington said it could not reach a verdict in the retrial of Nicholas Slatten, 34, who had received a new trial after an appeals court threw out his previous life-sentence conviction.
The retrial of a former Blackwater security guard convicted of first-degree murder in 2014 resulted in a hung jury Wednesday, dealing a blow to the Justice Department’s long pursuit of accountability for a 2007 shooting of unarmed civilians that drew international condemnation during the Iraq War.
U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth of the District declared a mistrial after a jury of seven women and five men said it was deadlocked on the 16th day of deliberations in the case of Nicholas A. Slatten. Slatten, 34, was accused of unleashing the first shots that set off machine gun and grenade fire that killed or injured 31 civilians in stopped traffic at Baghdad’s Nisour Square on Sept. 16, 2007.
It was the second time Slatten faced trial on murder charges in the shooting rampage that outraged diplomatic and humanitarian circles and sparked calls to end the U.S. government’s use of private military forces.