RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment
Print

Intro: "Prosecutors and defense attorneys in the court-martial of Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, accused in the killing of 24 unarmed Iraqis in 2005, announced an agreement Monday to settle the case. Wuterich will plead guilty to a single count of negligent dereliction of duty. Other charges were dropped. No announcement was made on what kind of discharge Wuterich would receive. The maximum sentence is three months in the brig. That decision will be made by the judge."

Marine Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich arrives at a courtroom at Camp Pendleton, 01/05/12. (photo: Lenny Ignelzi/AP)
Marine Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich arrives at a courtroom at Camp Pendleton, 01/05/12. (photo: Lenny Ignelzi/AP)



Marine Accused in Killing of 24 Iraqis in Haditha Makes Plea Deal

By Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times

24 January 12

 

rosecutors and defense attorneys in the court-martial of Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, accused in the killing of 24 unarmed Iraqis in 2005, announced an agreement Monday to settle the case.

Wuterich will plead guilty to a single count of negligent dereliction of duty. Other charges were dropped. No announcement was made on what kind of discharge Wuterich would receive.

The maximum sentence is three months in the brig. That decision will be made by the judge.

With the trial set to resume at 8:30 a.m. Monday, the judge, Lt. Col. David Jones, sent jurors home without explanation.

Neal Puckett, one of Wuterich's lawyers, told the North County Times that the decision to accept an agreement was made by Wuterich and that his client thought it was the "right and honorable thing to do."

Wuterich hugged his parents and members of a small support group that had attended the trial. The agreement has been approved by Lt. Gen. Thomas Waldhauser.

Wuterich, 31, was accused of manslaughter, assault and dereliction of duty for allegedly leading his squad on a bloody rampage on the morning of Nov. 19, 2005, after a roadside bomb killed one Marine and injured two in the Euphrates River town of Haditha.

When the smoke cleared, Wuterich's squad had killed 24 Iraqis, including three women and seven children, in a fruitless effort to find the gunmen that the Marines believed was firing on them from a house near the bomb blast.

Wuterich's case is the last to be settled among the eight Marines accused in the killings: four enlisted Marines accused of firing the fatal shots and four officers accused of not investigating thoroughly.

Six cases were dropped, one officer was acquitted at court-martial.

Wuterich's court-martial was recessed for a day and a half last week while prosecutors and defense attorneys sought to reach a bargain. After they failed to do so, the court-martial resumed Friday.

Negotiations continued over the weekend.

Although Wuterich, in an unsworn statement at his preliminary hearing, had admitted giving his Marines a "shoot first, ask questions later" order as they stormed two houses, the prosecution's case was undercut by its own witnesses.

The former platoon commander who had ordered Wuterich to "clear" houses testified that he and his Marines followed their orders and training when they stormed homes by throwing grenades and firing their M-16s.

The hearing officer at Wuterich's preliminary hearing in 2007 predicted the prosecution would fail because of inconsistent testimony from witnesses and poor forensics.

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
 

Comments   

A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

 
+25 # Archie1954 2012-01-24 10:38
Absolutely disgusting but oh so American. 24 people's lives, because they are foreign, are worth a possible three months in prison for one of America's "heroes". What a perverse country!
 
 
+27 # Richard Raznikov 2012-01-24 11:34
What's a little murder among friends. People like this, and fake criminal proceedings such as this, make me ashamed to be an American,

People get longer sentences for driving without a license.

Support the troops, my ass.
 
 
+1 # Nominae 2012-01-29 21:43
@ Richard Raznikov

So true. Ninety days in the brig is what one used to get for engaging in a bar fight while on liberty overseas.

But, WTF, no one did that much "brig time" for the slaughter of over 300 women, children and old men at My Lai in Viet Nam either.
 
 
+25 # angelfish 2012-01-24 11:45
This Cretin slaughters Twenty Four (24) innocent Human Beings and gets prosecuted for One (1)? Don't you just LOVE American Military Justice? They're trying to put Bradley Manning in Jail for LIFE, yet allow THIS travesty to take place! Something is SERIOUSLY wrong when the penalty for MURDER is three (3) months in the Brig while blowing the whistle on wrong doing by your Government requires Life in Prison! Amazing!
 
 
+15 # tedrey 2012-01-24 12:00
Compare:
March 25, 2009|Associated PressFT. BRAGG, N.C. — "A onetime Army paratrooper was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison for killing a fellow soldier and wounding nearly 20 others in a sniper attack at this North Carolina base more than a decade ago.

The sentence had been expected since Sgt. William J. Kreutzer, 39, of Clinton, Md., pleaded guilty earlier this month to one charge of premeditated murder and 18 other charges to avoid a possible death sentence."

One American soldier's death=life in prison. Twenty-four Iraqui civilians' deaths=3 months in the brig. (And the other 7 American participants get off completely.)
 
 
+12 # Catch22 2012-01-24 12:15
Bradley Manning, facing Courts Martial. Julian Assange, under threat of deportation and under threat of prosecution. Ben Griffin, silenced in UK by High Court Injunction. Frank Wuterich and others, well many men, women, and children dead, charged and convicted of dereliction of duty. Germans at the Nuremburg War Trails plead, following orders. Result guilty, and punished. American pleads similar, innocent, and will walk free. Here in the UK we have the Chilcot Inquiry into the illegal war in Iraw, we fled with our tails between our legs at the dead of night from Basra. The government does not want in the public domain the 'private' letters between Blair (Walking Eagle) and Bush, I wonder why not.
 
 
+12 # fredboy 2012-01-24 12:39
Three months equals 12 weeks and 24 deaths -- that's two deaths a week. The military takes care of its own.
 
 
+3 # John Gill 2012-01-24 13:00
Wow. The defense must have had a number of people higher up the chain of command by the very short hairs. You know, "Convict my client of murder and we will try this case in the court of public opinion," etc. etc. That is the only reason I can imagine this fellow would get off so lightly.
 
 
+4 # reader46 2012-01-24 13:48
Support those that join to kick ass, my ass!
 
 
+2 # Doubter 2012-01-24 19:19
Exactly!
These brainwashed kids will be assigned to kick OUR asses and keep US "in our place" once our outrage surpasses the cops ability to REPRESS.
 
 
-6 # papabob 2012-01-24 14:36
Put yourself in the shoes of the guys on the ground (as opposed to sitting in front of a computer). Think about what was going through their minds.
While the troops are being castigated for the (inexcusable) deaths in Haditha, remember one thing - they didn't choose to be there. They were there because George W. Bush wanted to go to war with Iraq and chose for them to be there.
 
 
+6 # davidzah 2012-01-24 16:18
Wow, what a load of crap. A person with ethics wouldn't be in this soldier's shoes.
 
 
+3 # John Gill 2012-01-24 18:23
I am not going to completely lay the responsibility for the madness that war drives otherwise decent people to at the doors of these young men and women, but papabob, we no longer have a draft. Many of these young people HAVE chosen to be there. Sadly war looks like adventure to some young men, young women too, and when they find themselves in it, some commit suicide, some murder. The fact that I happen to be sitting on my fat tuckus in front of my laptop does NOT exonerate a killer of children however much empathy I may feel for the plight of a young person thrust into an insane situation.
 
 
+4 # angelfish 2012-01-24 18:37
Quoting papabob:
Put yourself in the shoes of the guys on the ground (as opposed to sitting in front of a computer). Think about what was going through their minds.
While the troops are being castigated for the (inexcusable) deaths in Haditha, remember one thing - they didn't choose to be there. They were there because George W. Bush wanted to go to war with Iraq and chose for them to be there.

Did the Devil make them do it? Seriously! WHEN does ANYONE take Personal Responsibility for their actions, EVER? The Nazi Defense of "following orders" just doesn't cut it! WHERE are a few GOOD MEN when you need them???!!
 
 
0 # Nominae 2012-01-29 21:50
Quoting papabob:
Put yourself in the shoes of the guys on the ground (as opposed to sitting in front of a computer). Think about what was going through their minds.............
remember one thing - they didn't choose to be there.


@ papabob

"they didn't choose to be there" ? papa, did you not receive the memo stating that the U.S. repealed it's draft laws shortly after the end of the Viet Nam War ?

ALL of today's troops are volunteer troops. When you volunteer to go IN, you volunteer to follow orders. All orders. But, since the repeal of the draft, you DO volunteer to join up. Big difference.
 
 
0 # Activista 2012-01-25 11:17
"will plead guilty to a single count of negligent dereliction of duty. Other charges were dropped"
Decorated hero for killing 24 people!
Wonder when the boys will come home and do what they know - to kill - what sentences they will get?
Wait, they will be police fighting 99% - all will be O.K.
 
 
-1 # colvictoria 2012-01-26 17:29
Bush and Company got away with murder and Obama just boasted about how he got rid of Bin Laden and Qaddafi. Didn't our own Secretary of State cheer and chuckle when she got word of Qaddafi's assassination? Are we surprised when soldiers piss on dead Afghans? Are we shocked about Abu Graib? Are we stunned that these kids who killed 24 Iraqi's from Haditha get no real punishment?
I am ashamed of being an American a nation built on the misery of others. Disgusting!
 

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.

RSNRSN