Saturday, June 23, 2018

Marine accepts plea deal in Iraqi civilian deaths

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — A Marine sergeant accused in the killing of 24 unarmed Iraqis in 2005 pleaded guilty Monday in a deal that will carry no more than three months confinement.

Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, 31, of Meriden, Conn., who was originally accused of unpremeditated murder, pleaded guilty to negligent dereliction of duty for leading his troops to disregard rules of combat when they raided homes in the town of Haditha after a roadside bomb exploded near their convoy, killing one Marine and wounding two others.

The incident is considered among the Iraq war's defining moments, further tainting America's reputation when it was at a low point after the release of photos of prisoner abuse by U.S. soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison.

"The case doesn't end with a bang, it ends with a whimper and a pretty weak whimper at that," said Gary Solis, a former Marine Corps prosecutor and judge. "When you have 24 dead bodies and you get dereliction of duty, that's pretty good defense work."

Wuterich, his family and his attorneys declined to comment.

Prosecutors also declined to comment on the plea deal. Lt. Col. Joseph Kloppel, a Marine Corps spokesman, said the deal was not a reflection or in any way connected to how the prosecution felt their case was going in the trial.

Wuterich faces a maximum of three months in confinement, two-thirds forfeiture of pay and a rank demotion to private when he's sentenced.

Seven other Marines were acquitted or had charges dismissed in the case.

Comments
Oldsmar cheer coach faces new sexual battery charges

Oldsmar cheer coach faces new sexual battery charges

An Oldsmar cheerleading coach charged this week with sending explicit images to a minor now faces additional sexual battery charges.Victor Martin Valenty, 28, is accused of having "inappropriate sexual activity" with a 15-year-old at his home for mor...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Migrants denied access to lawyers, held in cells 23 hours a day, ACLU lawsuit alleges

Migrants denied access to lawyers, held in cells 23 hours a day, ACLU lawsuit alleges

After crossing the U.S.-Mexico border seeking asylum, 123 men have been detained for weeks, caged in prison cells for up to 23 hours per day and denied access to attorneys at a federal detention center in Sheridan, Oregon, a lawsuit filed Friday by t...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Mauresmo to replace Noah as France's Davis Cup captain

Former top-ranked Amelie Mauresmo will become the first woman to captain France's Davis Cup men's team when she replaces Yannick Noah next season
Updated: 1 hour ago
Vinnie Paul, co-founder, drummer of Pantera, dies at 54

Vinnie Paul, co-founder, drummer of Pantera, dies at 54

Vinnie Paul, co-founder and drummer of metal band Pantera, has died at 54.
Updated: 1 hour ago
Israelis, Palestinians await William's inaugural royal visit

Israelis, Palestinians await William's inaugural royal visit

Prince William is set to arrive in Israel and the Palestinian territories this week for the first official visit of a member of the British royal family.
Updated: 1 hour ago
1 dead after attack at huge rally for Ethiopia's new PM

1 dead after attack at huge rally for Ethiopia's new PM

1 dead after blast at huge Ethiopia rally for reformist new PM; a 'well-orchestrated attack'
Updated: 1 hour ago
1 dead after attack at huge rally for Ethiopia's new PM

1 dead after attack at huge rally for Ethiopia's new PM

1 dead after blast at huge Ethiopia rally for reformist new PM; a 'well-orchestrated attack'
Updated: 1 hour ago

AP Top News at 10:34 a.m. EDT

AP Top News at 10:34 a.m. EDT
Updated: 1 hour ago

New Hampshire prep school settles with abused former student

An elite New Hampshire prep school has agreed to a legal settlement with a former student who was sexually abused in the 1970s
Updated: 1 hour ago

Pakistani Taliban choose new chief in place of Fazlullah

Pakistani Taliban militants have chosen a religious scholar as their new chief in place of Mullah Fazlullah killed earlier this month in a U.S. drone strike
Updated: 1 hour ago