WASHINGTON - A Mississippi man was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola Jr., in the Southern District of Mississippi to 36 months in prison for involuntary manslaughter, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division. Kyle Palmer, 27, of Biloxi, Miss., was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release following the prison term, to pay $2,000 in restitution and to pay a $4,000 fine.
According to factual information provided to the court as part of the plea hearing, Palmer and Justin Pope, the victim, worked as security contractors for DynCorp, a Department of State contractor, at the U.S. embassy regional office in Erbil, Iraq. According to information provided to the court, during an informal party that took place on the night of March 4, 2009, Palmer became considerably intoxicated, in violation of rules in place at the time. During the course of the party, Pope and Palmer engaged in a series of actions in which they pointed a 9 millimeter Glock-19 handgun at each other. According to information provided to the court, at a point during the party, Palmer discharged Pope’s weapon without checking whether the gun was loaded. A bullet was accidentally fired, which struck and killed Pope.
The case was prosecuted by Deputy Chief David Jaffe and Trial Attorney Christine Duey of the Criminal Division’s Domestic Security Section. The case was investigated by the Diplomatic Security Service of the Department of State.