SAN DIEGO – Three Marines from Camp Pendleton will face courts-martial on murder charges in the death of an Iraqi man in the town of Hamdania, the Marine Corps said Monday.
Gen. James Mattis, the commanding general in the case, said he would not seek the death penalty.
The three were among seven Marines and one Navy corpsman charged with kidnapping and murdering 52-year-old Hashim Ibrahim Awad last April. The other five face preliminary hearings in coming weeks.
Pfc. John J. Jodka, 20, Cpl. Marshall L. Magincalda, 23, and Lance Cpl. Jerry E. Shumate, 21, will also face charges including conspiracy, housebreaking and wrongfully seizing and holding a victim against his will.
The Marines Corps dropped some charges against the three, including an assault charge against Magincalda and Shumate. Jodka had charges of making a false official statement, larceny and wrongfully endeavoring to impede an investigation dropped.
Joseph Casas, an attorney for Jodka, said he was pleased.
"(Jodka) is looking forward to getting a fair court martial and moving this forward as expeditiously as possible," Casas said. "Every day he sits in there in limbo is a day behind bars that he doesn't spend with his family."
Attorneys for Magincalda and Shumate did not immediately return phone messages seeking comment.
According to prosecutors, the Marines and sailor kidnapped Awad on April 26, bound his feet, dragged him from his home and shot him to death in a roadside hole.
Jodka is accused of firing on Awad. Magincalda is suspected of binding Awad's feet and kidnapping him. Shumate is suspected of firing his M-16 at Awad, then lying to investigators about what had happened.