[JURIST] US Marine Pfc. John J. Jodka will plead guilty in connection with the April 26 death of Iraqi civilian Hashim Ibrahim Awad [Wikipedia profile] in Hamdania [USMC timeline; JURIST news archive], according to Jodka's lawyer speaking Friday. The guilty plea, expected to be entered on Thursday, is to charges of assault and obstruction of justice, reduced from the original charges of murder and kidnapping [JURIST report]. The deal follows the October 6 guilty plea [JURIST report] of US Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Melson J. Bacos to kidnapping and conspiracy in the same incident; Bacos was sentenced to a one year imprisonment. AP has more.
A total of eight US military personnel were initially charged [JURIST report] in connection with the Hamdania killing, in which they are said to have shot Awad and then made it seem that he was an insurgent planting a roadside bomb by placing a shovel and rifle next to his dead body. Jodka is the lowest-ranked of the five military personnel directly charged with the shooting and was 19 at the time of the incident. In August, military prosecutors said they would not seek the death penalty [JURIST report] against Jodka.