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US soldier acquitted of murder in Kirkuk Iraqi civilian killing

[JURIST] A military jury in Hawaii convicted US Army Specialist Christopher P. Shore on Wednesday of aggravated assault on charges stemming from the June 23, 2007 killing of an unarmed Iraqi civilian near the Iraqi city of Kirkuk [GlobalSecurity backgrounder], but acquitted him on charges of third-degree murder. Shore could be sentenced to a maximum eight-year prison sentence, as well as receive a dishonorable discharge and be demoted to the army's lowest pay grade. Shore originally faced charges of premeditated murder of the unspecified "Iraqi national," but those charges were later reduced. His court-martial began [JURIST report] Tuesday. BBC News has more.

During his Article 32 hearing [JAG backgrounder; KHNL report] in October, Shore's lawyer painted Army Sgt. 1st Class Trey A. Corrales [advocacy website], also accused in the Kirkuk killing, as sadistic and out of control. Shore testified that when Corrales ordered him to shoot the unarmed Iraqi civilian, he intentionally missed. Corrales was charged [JURIST report; press release] in July with the more serious offense of premeditated murder and waived his right to an Article 32 hearing. If convicted, Corrales could face the death penalty.

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