BREAKING: FINAL ‘HADITHA’ MARINE EXONERATED- Wuterich Reaches Plea Deal For Misdemeanor

“Marine Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich agreed to plead guilty Monday to one count of negligent dereliction of duty, ending his trial on manslaughter and related charges for his role in the deaths of 24 Iraqi civilians in 2005.”

SHAME ON JOHN MURTHA—
The former Democratic representive smeared innocent men serving their country.
There was no “murder in cold blood.”

Cold-blooded John Murtha was wrong about the Haditha marines.
Barack Obama was wrong about Haditha, too.

Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani was found not guilty of all charges on June 16, 2008.
That made 7 of 8 Marines who had their charges dismissed.
Today the 8th and final Marine was found not guilty.

Photos via Defend Our Marines
Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani became the 7th of 8 marines cleared of wrongdoing in the Haditha, Iraq killings in 2005.

The final Haditha Marine to stand trial reached a plea deal today ending his trial on manslaughter and related charges.

The NC Times reported:

Marine Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich agreed to plead guilty Monday to one count of negligent dereliction of duty, ending his trial on manslaughter and related charges for his role in the deaths of 24 Iraqi civilians in 2005.

“This was his decision and his decision alone,” Neal Puckett, Wuterich’s lead defense attorney, told the North County Times. “Staff Sergeant Wuterich believed this was the right and honorable thing to do.”

Negligent dereliction of duty is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of 90 days in custody and a reduction or forfeiture of pay. Sentencing is scheduled for Tuesday.

The deal was announced in court early Monday morning. Afterward, Wuterich hugged his parents, who have been watching the courtroom proceedings since the trial began.

Under the plea deal, Wuterich acknowledged he didn’t maintain “adequate tactical control” of troops he was leading and made a “negligent verbal order.”

In statements to the judge, Wuterich said comments he made to troops he was leading were negligent and may have led to the the “tragic” events.

“I took a team of Marines to clear houses to the south of the site (of an IED explosion) and did use the words ‘shoot first, ask questions later,’ or something to that affect prior to clearing or entering there,” he said.

Wuterich said the troops he was leading may have taken his words to mean they should disregard the rules of engagement, and not make positive identifications before shooting.


United States Marine Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich arrives at a court room at Camp Pendleton with lead defense attorney Neal Puckett Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012 in Camp Pendeton. (AP Photo\/Lenny Ignelzi)

Maggie’s Farm has more on the trial.

Thanks to Defend Our Marines for their tireless work in defending these innocent men.

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