Update: Sgt. Rob Richards, depicted in a video of U.S. Marine snipers urinating on Taliban corpses, was found dead at his home Aug. 13 in Jacksonville, North Carolina. No cause of death has been publicly reported, but his acquaintances have said it was believed to be related to his medications.
Richards served three deployments to Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom. He was severely injured by an IED during combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in March 2010. A Facebook page to support him after his war injuries morphed into a page to defend him after the urination video. It’s now a memorial remembrance.
Richards was medically retired last year amid controversy over the urination video, though his attorney said he wanted to stay in the Marines and held out hope he might be allowed to reenlist if the Defense Department Inspector General found the Marine Corps Commandant James Amos guilty of unlawful command influence in prosecution of the case.
Instead, the IG reportedly cleared Amos. Richards’ death came less than two weeks after the news of the IG’s findings became public. He was 28.
Below is the original article on what happened to the Marines, with an update on Richards.
Nine U.S. Marines were accused of either being in the video, supervising them, or committing other inappropriate acts in other videos recorded on personal GoPro-type mini-cameras. The full exclusive story on what happened to the case can be found here on BlueForceTracker.com Here are the outcomes as reported by the Marine Corps prosecutor and other sources.
1) Staff Sgt. Joseph W. Chamblin– Special Court-Martial Dec. 19, 2012 – Pleaded guilty to urinating on human remains. Reduced in rank, less than honorable discharge.
2) Staff Sgt. Edward W. Deptola – Special Court-Martial Jan. 16, 2013 – Pleaded guilty of taking photos of Marines urinating on human remains. Reduced in rank, less than honorable discharge.
3) Sgt. Derek Mages – Nonjudicial punishment Aug. 2012 – Pleaded guilty to urinating on human remains. Less than honorable discharge.
4) Sgt. Jacob R. Pope – Nonjudicial punishment Aug. 2012 – Pleaded guilty to urinating on human remains. Received letter of reprimand. Lost a leg a few days after the video and medically retired from the Marines.
5) Sgt. Robert Richards – Nonjudicial punishment Aug. 7, 2013 – Pleaded guilty. Reduced in rank, medically retired due to severe injuries. Sgt. Richards was the supervisory Marine over the sniper team and was also seen in the video. Richards was found dead in his Jacksonville, N.C. home on Aug. 13, 2014.
6) Capt. James Clement – Nonjudicial punishment Oct. 2013 – Honorable discharge. Capt. Clement manned the radio and was not present at video recording.
7) Cpl. Matthew Bostrom– Nonjudicial punishment Dec. 11, 2012 – Reduced in rank. Less than honorable discharge. On a previous deployment to Afghanistan, Cpl. Bostrom was shot multiple times and nearly died. He was not involved in the urination video, but was accused of “minor military misconduct” depicted in other videos.
8) Staff Sgt. Eric W. Summers – Nonjudicial punishment Aug. 27, 2012 – Received a letter of reprimand and is still in the Marine Corps. He was not involved in the urination video, but was accused of “minor military misconduct” depicted in other videos.
9) Capt. Timothy P. Thornton – Nonjudicial punishment Feb. 2013 – Received a letter of reprimand and is still in the Marine Corps. He was not involved in the urination video, but was accused of “minor military misconduct” depicted in other videos.