Ernest Medina, Key Figure in My Lai Massacre, Dies at 81

MARINETTE, Wis. (AP) -
ernest medina, my lai
U.S. Army Capt. Ernest Medina speaks at a news conference at the Pentagon on Dec. 4, 1969. (AP Photo/File)

Former Army Capt. Ernest Medina, a key figure in the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam war, has died in Wisconsin. He was 81.

Medina was an Army captain when American troops under his command killed hundreds of civilians in the small village in 1968. He was acquitted in a court-martial over the massacre.

Medina died May 8, according to an obituary written by his family. No cause of death was given.

Medina was captain of Charlie Company, whose troops entered My Lai and a neighboring community and massacred 504 unarmed Vietnamese villagers over three to four hours — mostly women, children and elderly men. The soldiers were told they were on a mission to confront a crack Vietcong unit, but met no resistance.

Medina is being buried Monday.