A former Army private accused of raping an Iraqi woman and killing her and three family members was a high-school dropout from a broken home who enlisted to get some direction in his life, yet was sent home early because of an "anti-social personality disorder."
Steven D. Green could get the death penalty if convicted in the horrific crime that has strained the U.S. military's already troubled relations with the Iraqi people and sent shockwaves around the world.
Yet the few details known of the 21-year-old's life are as unremarkable as the tired expression he wore in news photos showing him being led into a court this week wearing baggy shorts, flip-flops and a Johnny Cash T-shirt.
Steven Dale Green grew up in the west Texas oil town of Midland, which claims both President Bush and his wife, Laura, as natives. His parents divorced when he was 4, and his mother remarried four years later.
Midland school officials said Green attended classes from 1990 to 2002 but only made it through 10th grade, suggesting he might have been held back at least once. They would not specify.
His upbringing was not without complications. Green's mother pleaded no contest in 2000 to a drunken driving charge and was jailed for six months.
After dropping out, Green moved about 80 miles north to Denver City, the former oil town along the New Mexico state line that is listed as his official hometown. He got his high school equivalency degree in 2003.
According to a report in the Midland Reporter-Telegram, Green was arrested for misdemeanor possession of alcohol on Jan. 31, 2005. Days later, just a few months shy of his 20th birthday, he enlisted in the Army.
He was deployed to Iraq from September 2005 to April 2006 as an infantry soldier in B Company, 1st Battalion of the 502nd Infantry Regiment, which is part of the 101st Airborne Division, based at Fort Campbell, Ky.
It was there that he was sent to patrol the so-called "Triangle of Death," an area southwest of Baghdad known for its frequent roadside bombings. Military officials say more than 40 percent of the nearly 1,000 soldiers in the region have been treated for mental or emotional anxiety. Green was apparently one of them.
He was given a discharge on May 16 for what military officials in Iraq told The Associated Press was an "anti-social personality disorder." The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case.
A psychiatric condition, anti-social personality disorder is defined as chronic behavior that manipulates, exploits, or violates the rights of others. Someone with the disorder may break the law repeatedly, lie, get in fights and show a lack of remorse.
Military officials said the accusations of Green's involvement in the rape and killings came to light more than a month later during a session to counsel soldiers about the June 16 abductions of two fellow soldiers who were killed, and reportedly mutilated, by insurgents.
According to a federal affidavit, Green and other soldiers targeted the young girl after spotting her at a traffic checkpoint near Mahmoudiya. On the day of the March attack, the document said, Green took three members of the family - an adult male and female, and a girl estimated to be 5 years old - into a bedroom, after which shots were heard from inside. The girl's body was found burned; the other bodies were found in a house that had been burned, the document said.