US Marine charged with murder in Fallujah detainee death

[JURIST] A US Marine sergeant was charged [press release] Tuesday with one count of murder and one count of dereliction of duty for his involvement in the shooting of a detained Iraqi insurgent during the Multinational National Force-Iraq's November 2004 offensive [GlobalSecurity backgrounder] in Fallujah [USMC timeline; JURIST news archive]. Sgt. Ryan Weemer, who was a corporal at the time of the battle [CNN report], admitted during a polygraphed job interview in 2006 with the US Secret Service that he had witnessed indiscriminate killings in Fallujah, which spurred investigations of at least 10 Marines [JURIST report] by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) [official website]. Weemer had completed his active duty and was promoted to sergeant in 2006 as a reservist but was reactivated earlier this week, which permits the military to subject him to full court-martial. If convicted, Weemer faces life in prison.

The charges against Weemer follow December charges against Marine Sgt. Jermaine A. Nelson for murder and dereliction of duty, and August charges [JURIST reports] against former Marine Sgt. Jose Nazario for voluntary manslaughter in connection with the same incident. Nazario has been charged in federal court. Military journalist Nathaniel Helms has allegedly corroborated the account, reporting that he saw the Marines execute subdued Iraqi prisoners, whose bodies were later buried under rubble from an air strike. AP has more.



 

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