US military contractor gets probation in shooting of Afghan detainee

A US military contractor who pleaded guilty in February to voluntary manslaughter for the 2008 shooting of an Afghan detainee was sentenced in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia May 8 to five years probation and a $12,500 fine. Don Ayala had been charged with second-degree murder for shooting and killing detainee Abdul Salam in retaliation for Salam’s earlier attack on Ayala’s fellow contractor Paula Lloyd.

At the time of the incident, Ayala was stationed in Afghanistan as a contractor for Strategic Analysis as part of the US Army’s Human Terrain System program. Ayala was prosecuted under Section 3261 of the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (MEJA), which allows criminal charges to be brought against military contractors overseas. (Jurist, May 8)

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