Marine Faces 3 Months In Brig For Iraqi Deaths

By Salon Staff

Published January 24, 2012 8:18AM (EST)

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.

Salon Staff

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