Central Texas soldier imprisoned 12 years for war crime gets married on day of release

Published: Oct. 16, 2020 at 2:40 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 16, 2020 at 7:21 PM CDT
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PLATTE CITY, Kan. (KWTX) - A former soldier from Central Texas who spent the past 12 years behind bars for war crimes he insists didn’t happen was released from prison and immediately got married Friday, beginning a new chapter in his life as he seeks a full pardon to clear his name.

First Sgt. John Hatley, of Groesbeck, was released Friday and did not waste any time marrying Pamela Miller, whom he met while in prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

The two became pen pals and that friendship blossomed into love.

Hatley was sentenced to life in prison by a military court for the murder of four Iraqi detainees in Iraq in 2007.

Military investigators did not produce any physical evidence, no bodies were found and no one was reported missing.

The key evidence was testimony from other soldiers who themselves were facing discipline for other reasons and could have been anxious to cut a deal.

The fight is not yet over for the paroled Hatley.

John Hatley gets married to Pamela Miller. John read his vows to his new stepson Lathan.
John Hatley gets married to Pamela Miller. John read his vows to his new stepson Lathan.(Photos: Gordon Collier)

He and The United American Patriots will continue to push for a full pardon to clear his name and restore his military status.

Family and friends were waiting to greet him as he was released Friday.

Within a few hours, he married Pamela in a ceremony held on the banks of the Platte River in Platte, Kansas.

Hatley will arrive in Groesbeck Saturday, where a hero’s welcome is planned.

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