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Courts-martial ordered for Marines charged with Hamdania death

[JURIST] Three US Marines charged with murdering an unarmed Iraqi civilian [JURIST report] in April in Hamdania [JURIST news archive] will face courts-martial, the Marine Corps [official website] announced Monday. The decision follows preliminary hearings [JURIST report] for the three Marines, all of whom are based at Camp Pendleton, California: Pfc. John J. Jodka III, Cpl. Marshall L. Magincalda and Cpl. Jerry E. Shumate [JURIST reports]. Although prosecutors dropped some charges against the Marines, those remaining in addition to murder include murder, conspiracy, housebreaking and kidnapping [UCMJ text]. Earlier, military prosecutors said they would not seek the death penalty [JURIST reports] if the defendants are convicted.

Four other Marines and a Navy corpsman charged in connection with the death are awaiting preliminary hearings under Article 32 [JAG backgrounder; USMJ text] of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. On April 26, the eight suspects allegedly dragged the victim, Hashim Ibrahim Awad [Wikipedia profile], out of his home, shot him and then placed an AK-47 rifle and a shovel near his body to make him look as if he had been burying a roadside bomb. AP has more.

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