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Military Misconduct

August 4, 2007 | Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer
The ringleader of a plot by Marines to kidnap and kill an Iraqi man in Hamandiya last year was given a dishonorable discharge Friday and sentenced to 15 years in prison, the harshest sentence of the eight men convicted in the case. Prosecutors in the court-martial of Sgt. Lawrence G. Hutchins III had sought 30 years in prison and a dishonorable discharge. Hutchins, a squad leader, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder and unpremeditated murder.
July 31, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
A Ft. Campbell soldier accused of acting as a lookout while his colleagues attacked and killed a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and her family pleaded guilty to lesser offenses as his court-martial began on rape and murder charges. Pfc. Jesse V. Spielman, 22, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obstruct justice, arson, wrongfully touching a corpse, and drinking in the March 2006 attack on Abeer Kassem Hamza Janabi and her family. He still faces trial on more serious charges.
July 25, 2007 | Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer
With tears in his eyes and his voice breaking, a Marine lance corporal facing six murder charges told a hearing officer Tuesday that he did not realize there were Iraqi women and children in the line of fire when he began hurling grenades and firing his M-16. "It was dark," said Lance Cpl. Stephen B. Tatum. "I couldn't make out a lot -- just targets.... I didn't know there were women and children in that house until later." Tatum, 26, of Edmond, Okla.
July 4, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
Federal prosecutors filed notice that they would seek the death penalty if former soldier Steven D. Green is convicted of killing an Iraqi family and raping a 14-year-old girl. The notice, filed in U.S. District Court in Louisville, cites 12 alleged offenses related to the slayings, including that the deaths were premeditated, involved sexual abuse and were committed with a firearm. Green, 22, a former 101st Airborne Division soldier, was indicted Nov. 1 in the rape and slayings.
July 2, 2007 | Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer
The day that would produce the biggest case of alleged atrocities by U.S. troops in Iraq began simply. On Nov. 19, 2005, a squad of Marines moved out before dawn to take hot chow and a code-changing device to an outpost a few miles away. They planned to get back while the sun was barely rising over the Euphrates River. The Marines from Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Regiment, had arrived in Haditha six weeks earlier from Camp Pendleton.
June 22, 2007 | Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer
A national veterans advocacy group criticized Camp Pendleton on Thursday for its "discouraging" treatment of Marines who return from Iraq with signs of post-traumatic stress disorder.
June 15, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
Six men accused of plotting to attack soldiers at Ft. Dix with mortars and grenades pleaded not guilty in Camden. U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler set a tentative trial date of Aug. 13 and said he hoped the trial could conclude by early October. "If the government is not able to prove this case, they should not be in jail," he said. "I want to get this resolved."
June 10, 2007 | Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer
Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani told the investigating officer at his preliminary hearing Saturday that he did not believe he had done anything criminally wrong in the aftermath of a Marine shooting in the town of Haditha that left 24 Iraqi civilians dead. "I would say to you, I do not believe my decisions and actions were criminal, sir," Chessani told Col. Christopher Conlin.
June 7, 2007 | Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer
Defending the lack of a war-crimes investigation in the killing of 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha, a Marine intelligence officer testified Wednesday that it appeared the deaths had occurred in the midst of a series of attacks by insurgents that Marines had been strongly warned to anticipate. Capt. Jeffrey Dinsmore said that Marine officers decided the deaths were combat-related and thus no investigation was warranted.
June 5, 2007 | From a Times Staff Writer
Three Mexican army officers and 16 soldiers were ordered detained Monday in connection with the weekend shooting deaths of two women and three children at a military checkpoint in the western state of Sinaloa. A statement by Mexico's secretary of Defense said the army officers and troops would be confined to military prison in the city of Mazatlan in connection with Saturday's shooting.
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