Jordanian soldier convicted of killing 3 U.S. troops, sentenced to life in prison

AMMAN, JORDAN—A military court convicted a Jordanian soldier Monday of killing three U.S. military trainers at a Jordanian airbase and sentenced him to life in prison with hard labour.The defendant, who had pleaded “not guilty,” has said he opened fire because he feared the base was coming under attack.As he was led out of the courtroom, 1st Sgt. Marik al-Tuwayha said: “I have all the respect for the king, but I was doing my job.”Relatives of two of the slain soldiers sat quietly as the judge announced his ruling to a crowded court.Charles Lewellen, one of the bereaved fathers, later told The Associated Press that the verdict “won’t take the pain away,” but that it proved “what we have been saying all along … that he murdered our sons.”Article Continued BelowSome of the relatives criticized Jordan’s handling of the case and called for the death penalty, saying the maximum sentence in this case, life in prison, was not enough.The three U.S. Army Green Berets were killed Nov. 4, as their convoy waited at the gate to the al-Jafr base in southern Jordan. Jordan initially said the Americans triggered the shooting by disobeying entry rules, a claim that was later withdrawn.The trial “confirmed that the deceased U.S. service members followed all established procedures when accessing the base the day of the incident, as we have noted before,” the U.S. Embassy in Jordan said in a statement. “We are reassured to see the perpetrator brought to justice.”