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US Marine sentenced to 18 months in Hamdania murder of Iraqi civilian

[JURIST] US Marine Corps Pfc. John J. Jodka III [advocacy website] was sentenced Wednesday to 18 months in military custody for his role in the murder of an Iraqi civilian in Hamdania [USMC timeline; JURIST news archive] last spring. Jodka, one of eight servicemen originally charged in connection with the killing of Hashim Ibrahim Awad [Wikipedia profile], pleaded guilty last month to assault and obstruction of justice charges [JURIST reports]. Awad was shot and his body left by the side of the road with a shovel and an AK-47, making him look like an insurgent. AP has more.

Lance Cpl. Tyler Jackson and US Navy Petty Officer Melson Bacos [JURIST reports] have also pleaded guilty to lesser charges in the Hamdania incident. On Tuesday, Cpl. Trent D. Thomas pleaded not guilty [JURIST report] to charges of murder, kidnapping, and other offenses related to the death. A fourth serviceman, Lance Cpl. Jerry E. Shumate Jr., is expected to plead guilty [JURIST report] to assault and conspiracy to obstruct justice at an arraignment hearing scheduled for Monday.

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