Local News

Passaro Gets 100 Months in Prison for Detainee's Death

Posted February 13, 2007 4:06 p.m. EST
Updated February 13, 2007 4:59 p.m. EST

— A former CIA contractor from Lillington convicted of assaulting an Afghan detainee was sentenced Tuesday to 100 months in federal prison.

David Passaro, 40, a former Special Forces medic, was convicted last August in connection with the June 2003 death of Abdul Wali. Wali died after being beaten with a flashlight and kicked during two days of interrogation at a U.S. base in northern Afghanistan.

"Passaro's conduct was an affront to all of our men and women serving and fighting to spread freedom and the rule of law," U.S. Attorney George Holding said in a statement. "The sentence clearly shows that no one is above or below the laws of the United States."

Passaro, the first American civilian charged with mistreating a detainee during the war on terror, was sentenced to 100 months in prison for felony assault and six months in prison for each of three counts of simple assault. The sentences will run concurrently.

U.S. District Court Judge Terrence Boyle, who refused Passaro's request to overturn the conviction, said the evidence supported the verdict. Boyle said the lack of an autopsy probably kept Passaro from being charged with murder.

Passaro will have to serve at least 85 months of the sentence under federal guidelines.