US To Drop Shooting Case Against Blackwater Guard

Prosecutors say they'll drop manslaughter charges against one of the Blackwater Worldwide contractors charged in a deadly 2007 Baghdad shooting.

In court documents Friday, prosecutors said they have asked that the case against Nicholas Slatten of Sparta, Tenn., be dropped.

The request itself was sealed, so it's unclear why the case was being dropped. But it could be a bad sign for the government. After the shooting, some guards spoke to investigators under the promise of immunity. Prosecutors have been arguing behind closed doors that the immunity deal did not taint the case.

Five guards, all military veterans, face charges in the shooting that left 17 Iraqis dead. Prosecutors say the shooting was unprovoked, but Blackwater says its convoy was ambushed.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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