Charges filed in fatal shooting of local Green Beret in Jordan

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A Jordanian soldier now faces charges in connection with the death of a local Green Beret. (KTRK)

The Jordanian government has filed charges against one of its own soldiers for the killing of three members of the United States Army Special Forces team, one of whom grew up in Houston.

Family members of the soldiers killed said the U.S. government briefed them on the charges this week. The attack happened in November when a Jordanian soldier opened fire on a U.S. convey at a base in Jordan. M'aarek Aby Tayeh has been identified as the gunman.

At just 27 years old, Staff Sgt. James "Jimmy" Moriarty of Houston was already a man to be admired.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Local U.S. serviceman among three killed in Jordan military base attack

"He was living the life he wanted to live, doing what he wanted to do," his father said.

Jimmy's father, James Moriarty, is an attorney in the Montrose area. He's proud of his son's life. He was a University of Texas graduate and Green Beret. He is also proud of his son's final moments, protecting a fellow soldier under fire from a Jordanian soldier.

"I believe there are things in life worth fighting for and things in life worth dying for, and my son had those values. He lived by those and he died by those values," Moriarty said.

After learning Jimmy was killed while returning to the Jordanian base where he was stationed, the grief was difficult. It became nearly unbearable for Moriarty when the Jordanian government implied the deaths of Jimmy and his two fellow soldiers were their own fault.

The Jordanian government blamed a loud noise for scaring Abu Tayeh and leading to the shooting, Moriarty said. The Jordanian account then changed again, saying the shooting was justified according to the rules of engagement -- an outrageous and deeply troubling message for Moriarty.

The families of those killed pushed for details, and eventually Moriarty saw surveillance video of the attack. He said it showed Abu Tayeh gun down the soldiers as they drove back to the base.

"I learned my son risked his life and gave his life to protect his teammates, and I could not be more proud of my son," Moriarty said.

Moriarty said the charges for Abu Tayeh in a Jordanian military court are a step in the right direction.

For Moriarty, the fight to reveal the truth of his son's death continues. He said it's in his nature to fight for justice, just as it was for Jimmy.

"We all need heroes. We need people who have aspired and accomplished more than we have, who can give us examples of how we can be better men and women. Jimmy did all of those things," he said.

Moriarty hopes Abu Tayeh is convicted for the killings, but he said he also hopes the other Jordanian soldiers who stood by and didn't intervene are prosecuted too.

He's also pushing for the surveillance video to be released publicly so everyone can see his son's heroic final moments.

Related Topics:
soldier killedu.s. & worldmurdergun violenceHouston
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