Local News

Fort Bragg lieutenant found guilty in Afghan civilians' deaths

Posted August 1, 2013

— A military jury on Thursday found a Fort Bragg Army lieutenant guilty of murder in the shooting deaths of two Afghan civilians more than a year ago during a military mission.

Prosecutors characterized 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, 28, with Fort Bragg's 82nd Airborne Division's 4th Brigade Combat Team, as aggressive toward Afghans and argued that he illegally ordered the fatal shootings of two men on motorcycles in Afghanistan's Kandahar province.

Lorance's attorney, Ret. Lt. Col. Guy Womack, has said his client was protecting his platoon, which had suffered multiple casualties in the weeks prior to the July 2, 2012, incident, and that intelligence information and helicopters over the area of the attack in Afghanistan's Kandahar Province, warned the platoon to be on the lookout for men on motorcycles.

"I am bitterly disappointed," Womack said. "Lt. Lorance is an outstanding officer who made a decision to engage a suspected enemy approaching his position and now has been declared a murderer. The members heard all the evidence and I am confident they made the decision they believe is correct, but it is a crushing blow for those of us who know Lt. Lorance."

Lorance was also found guilty on charges of attempted murder, wrongfully communicating a threat, wrongfully and willfully discharging a firearm into a populated village and impeding the investigation into the shootings.

He was sentenced to 20 years in a military prison, forfeiture of all pay and dismissal from the U.S. Army.

Lorance's mother, Anna Lorance, said prior to her son's court-martial, that she believes he did what he had to do to keep his soldiers alive and that his family plans to keep fighting for his freedom.

"He is a hero to me, because he did what he thought was best in the heat of the moment to bring his soldiers home alive," Anna Lorance said. "I will fight until the day I die, and every family member we have will, until he gets the justice he deserves."

171 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Liebe ist fur alle Aug 5, 10:23 a.m.

    "I would have done the same thing."

    and you would have been convicted of murder as well.

    "What should he have done ask the guys on the motorcycles to stop so he can check their ID and ask if the are cilvians or terriost?"

    Yes...welcome to the stupidity of being an occupying force in a place you are not welcome. We are the aggressors here, the invaders. There is vanishingly little we can do right in this place and far too much we are doing wrong.

  • Liebe ist fur alle Aug 2, 4:41 p.m.

    "In non-military courts, one has to be set free if their is some doubt. I do not how they could have convicted him."

    There wasn't any doubt. Or are you saying the military courts aren't as good as civilian?

  • twybird587 Aug 2, 4:32 p.m.

    I would have done the same thing. What should he have done ask the guys on the motorcycles to stop so he can check their ID and ask if the are cilvians or terriost? Please...........

  • granville93 Aug 2, 4:05 p.m.

    Things are winding down so the military needs scapegoats for their mistakes. Now with the cutbacks good leaders are being forced out. The same thing happened after Vietnam. In non-military courts, one has to be set free if their is some doubt. I do not how they could have convicted him. What a shame.

  • Liebe ist fur alle Aug 2, 3:04 p.m.

    "If, by "fix" you mean destroy, then we agree. "

    No, I mean fix. Since you've never actually stepped outside your county I can understand how you might be confused, but having lived outside the country I am well aware of how far down our reputation was. Having also been outside the country in the last couple of years I know how much better it is.

  • zonk Aug 2, 2:49 p.m.

    Not sure about this. Is he the only person in a combat zone to kill innocent people ?

  • Pooter McGooter Aug 2, 2:35 p.m.

    Still Orthodox Celt: "Free thinkers know that P. Obama has done a great deal to fix our reputation worldwide."

    If, by "fix" you mean destroy, then we agree.

    You must be impressed with how Vladmir quakes when Obama speaks.

  • Liebe ist fur alle Aug 2, 2:03 p.m.

    "Sounds like you are wondering, but not the rest of us. Free thinkers know its because of the self identifying black man in the white house. Haters think it is because of America."

    Free thinkers know that P. Obama has done a great deal to fix our reputation worldwide.

  • Pooter McGooter Aug 2, 1:11 p.m.

    devildish: "YOUR POINT DEAR! STILL HE HURT A LOT OF PEOPLE IN HIS LIFE. DEAD OR ALIVE. JUSTICE WAS SERVED. PERIOD!"

    How was JUSTICE SERVED? On a cold platter at a state dinner. The guy is still President of the United States for Pete's sake.

  • welfarequeen Aug 2, 1:10 p.m.

    Frankly I'm glad Snowden was given asylum in Russia. I would rather be in an American jail than living in Russia any day. At least this way the Russian people have to pay for his upkeep rather than the American citizenry. heresathought

    Obviously, you have never been to Russia. While it obviously has it's problems, it is a gorgeous nation as anyone who has spent time in St.Petersburg ( like me) can attest. Snowden has already been offered several jobs. He may or may not remain in Russia, other nations offer him asylum as well. All Snowden needs to do to make several million dollars is write his memoirs or sell the rights to his life story to hollywood.

More...