[JURIST] The investigating officer presiding over preliminary hearings for a US Marine accused of kidnapping and murdering an unarmed Iraqi civilian [JURIST report] has recommended that the Marine face court-martial on murder charges, the Marine's lawyer said Wednesday. US Marine Corps [official website] Pfc. John Jodka III is accused of firing the deadly shots in the April 26 death of Hashim Ibrahim Awad [Wikipedia profile], in Hamdania. A commanding general will make the final decision whether to proceed with the court-martial.
Members of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment [official website] allegedly dragged Awad outside of his home, shot him, and then placed an AK-47 rifle and a shovel near his body to make him look like an insurgent burying a roadside bomb. Seven Marines and one Navy corpsman were charged [JURIST report] in June, and in late August, prosecutors announced they would not seek the death penalty [JURIST report] for Jodka. In a connected case, prosecutors said Tuesday that they will not seek the death penalty [JURIST report] against co-defendant Lance Cpl. Jerry E. Shumate Jr. [legal defense fund blog], who is accused of firing at Awad and providing false official statements to investigators. AP has more.