Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Murder Charges Against Marine Dropped

This will surely get the nutroots frothing, especially after they've been freaking out today over two soldiers who wrote a critical piece on the war that died in an accident.

Charges dropped against US Marine in Iraq killing
SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 12 (Reuters) - A U.S. military commander dropped murder charges on Wednesday against a U.S. Marine accused last month of killing an unarmed prisoner in Iraq.

Sgt. Jermaine Nelson had faced charges of killing a man detained in a November 2004 search of a home in Falluja in which weapons were found.

In a statement issued from Camp Pendleton in Southern California, the Marine Corps said Lt. Gen. James Mattis, commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Central Command, had dismissed the charges.

"Lt. Gen. Mattis dismissed the charges so he could evaluate the ongoing Naval Criminal Investigative Service investigation and determine appropriate action as the new consolidated disposition authority for the case," the Marines said.

Nelson could still face charges if new evidence related to the case emerges, a Marine spokesman said.

The case was one of series of incidents in which the U.S. armed forces are alleged to have committed crimes in Iraq, sparking intensified global criticism over the U.S. war.

Nelson's squad leader, Jose Luis Nazario, still faces criminal charges in the Falluja incident, but since he has left the military he faces voluntary manslaughter charges in federal court.

Nazario was scheduled to be arraigned later on Wednesday and would enter a not guilty plea, his attorney, Douglas Applegate, said in an interview.

"He's been sort of left out to dry," Applegate said in contrasting his client to Nelson. "I find it somewhat unjust."

No comments: