CAMP PENDLETON, California (AP) — A sentencing hearing will begin Tuesday for the last defendant of a major Iraq war crimes case after he pleaded guilty to negligent dereliction of duty for leading a squad that killed 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians in 2005.
A military judge will decide the sentence of 31-year-old Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich (WOO'-tur-ich) of Meriden, Conn.
Wuterich faces no more than three months in confinement for ordering his troops to shoot without hesitation after a roadside bomb exploded, killing a Marine.
He is the last defendant in one of the biggest cases to emerge from the Iraq war.
Wuterich agreed to the plea deal amid his manslaughter trial at Camp Pendleton, Calif.