Marine Who Was Taped Urinating on Taliban Bodies Found Dead in North Carolina

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 14 2014 5:14 PM

Marine Who Was Taped Urinating on Taliban Bodies Found Dead in North Carolina

The Washington Post writes today that Marine Cpl. Robert Richards—a sniper who served three tours in Afghanistan, was badly injured in the line of duty, and left the service after a video in which he urinated on dead Taliban fighters was posted online—has died. He was 28; the death is not believed to be a suicide, Richards' lawyer says.

The Post's recap of Richards' life in the military is harrowing. In 2010 he took shrapnel wounds "to his legs, arms, groin and throat, the latter of which required at least six surgeries to fix." Seemingly suffering badly from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), he redeployed to Afghanistan, where he and others were videotaped urinating on dead Taliban fighters—a decision that Richards said was related to the prior desecration of another Marine by insurgents. Richards was court-martialed and pled guilty; he was allowed to retain his medical benefits and did not receive a dishonorable or bad-conduct discharge.

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"That’s the only thing I was really good at in life, being a Marine sniper, and I’ll miss it every day,” Richards told the Marine Corps Times last year. Read the Post's whole piece here.

Ben Mathis-Lilley edits the Slatest. Follow @Slatest on Twitter.

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