Haditha Marine squad leader should not face murder charges: investigating officer Michael Sung at 10:02 AM ET
[JURIST] The investigating officer who headed the Article 32 hearing [JAG backgrounder] for US Marine Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich [advocacy website] has recommended that Wuterich not face unpremeditated murder charges but instead be tried for negligent homicide, defense lawyers said Thursday. Wuterich, the former squad leader implicated in the killing and suspected cover-up of the death of 24 Iraqi civilians at Haditha [USMC timeline; JURIST news archive] in November 2005, allegedly ordered several Marines to shoot unarmed Iraqis inside homes that were "hostile." Wuterich is also facing charges of soliciting another to commit an offense and making a false official statement. The investigating officer's recommendations are not binding, but commanding officers customarily accept the recommendations.
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