Former US soldier trial for rape, murder in Iraq opens

An ex-soldier charged with raping and killing a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and slaying her family set the girl's body ablaze after shooting her several times, prosecutors said Monday during opening statements at his federal trial. Steven Dale Green, 23, of Midland, Texas, faces more than a dozen charges, including sexual assault and four counts of murder, stemming from the March 2006 attack in Iraq's so-called "Triangle of Death." After he shot the girl in the face several times, Green used kerosene to set fire to her body, Assistant US Attorney Brian Skaret said. "They left behind the carnage of all carnage," Skaret said of Green and other soldiers accused in the March 12, 2006, attack. The defense, in its opening statement, asked jurors to consider the extraordinary circumstances that confronted soldiers while serving in Iraq. Green, who has pleaded not guilty, is being tried in a civilian court because he was discharged from the Army before being charged with the crimes.