Ex-Blackwater guards get lengthy prison sentences

In this June 11, 2014 file photo, former Blackwater Worldwide guard Evan Liberty, right, arrives at federal court in Washington.


Last Updated Apr 13, 2015 5:45 PM EDT

A federal judge has sentenced a former Blackwater security guard to life in prison, and three others to 30 years in prison, for their roles in a 2007 shooting that killed 14 Iraqi civilians and wounded more than a dozen others.

Former guard Nicholas Slatten was sentenced to life in prison for his first-degree murder conviction, while the three others - Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard - were given 30 years for multiple counts of manslaughter, attempted manslaughter and using firearms while committing a felony.

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth choked up while reading the sentencing, after an emotional day in court. Earlier in the day, Lamberth said he wouldn't deviate from the lengthy mandatory minimum sentences the four faced, rejecting a defense motion to impose lesser sentences, as well as a motion by prosecutors to increase the penalties.