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Marine court martial in Haditha killings resumes with no deal

January 20, 2012 |  8:47 am

The court martial of Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich in the killing of 24 civilian Iraqis resumed Friday morning after negotiations between prosecutors and defense attorneys apparently failed to reach a settlement.

Wuterich, 31, is charged with manslaughter, assault and dereliction of duty -- the final defendant of the eight Marines charged in the Nov. 19, 2005, killings in the Euphrates River town of Haditha. Six Marines had charges dropped, one was acquitted at court martial.

On Wednesday, the military judge abruptly recessed the trial and told attorneys to seek “other options” to continuing the trial. But discussions between the two sides did not result in an agreement.

The judge, Lt. Col. David Jones, cautioned jurors not to speculate on why the trial had been recessed since Wednesday afternoon. He said he'll explain once the trial is completed.

The trial resumed with cross-examination of Sgt. Humberto Mendoza, a prosecution witness.


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-- Tony Perry at Camp Pendleton

Photo: Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich. Credit: Associated Press