Marine Convicted of Murdering Iraqi Man
The Marine Corps has found a squad leader guilty of murder in one of the more infamous atrocities of the Iraq War.
A Marine Corps squad leader was convicted Thursday of murdering an Iraqi man during a frustrated search for an insurgent. Sgt. Lawrence G. Hutchins III, 23, also was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, making a false official statement and larceny. He was acquitted of kidnapping, assault and housebreaking.
Hutchins, of Plymouth, Mass., could be sentenced to life in prison without parole. He had been charged with premeditated murder but the military jury struck the premeditation element from the verdict.
Prosecutors said that during a nighttime patrol in Hamdania, Iraq, in April 2006, Hutchins’ squad hatched a plan to kidnap and kill a suspected insurgent from his house. When they couldn’t find him, they instead kidnapped a man from a neighboring house, dragged him to a hole and shot him.
This appears to be the right verdict, although I presume the acquittal on kidnapping, assualt, and housebreaking — which would seem to be obvious lesser includeds in this case — was on technical grounds.