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CAMP LEJEUNE, NC (WWAY) — A Marine who shot a video of Marines urinating on Taliban fighters two years ago has pleaded guilty and been demoted.

The Marine Corps says Sgt. Robert W. Richards pleaded guilty during a summary court-martial at Camp Lejeune yesterday. He was demoted to corporal.

Richards was charged in January with dereliction of duty, violation of a lawful general order and conduct prejudicial to the good order and discipline of the armed forces. The Marine Corps says the allegations centered around Richards taking photographs of human casualties, including a video recording of him and other Marines urinating on the bodies, the indiscriminate firing of weapons, failure to properly supervise fellow Marines and failure to report misconduct. The incidents happened in July 2011 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

The incident came to light in January 2012, when a video appeared on YouTube allegedly depicting four US Marines urinating on dead Taliban. The incident became the subject of a Naval Criminal Investigative Service investigation and two command investigations.

Richards’s court-martial resolves all cases of the Marines depicted in the video.

As a result of the investigations and subsequent legal actions, eight Marines have been punished for their involvement in this incident through non-judicial punishment or courts-martial, according to the USMC.


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