Prosecutors get more time to decide whether to appeal overturning of Marine's conviction

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A military court is giving the government more time to decide whether to challenge the overturning of a Camp Pendleton Marine's murder conviction in a major Iraqi war crimes case.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces granted the request Wednesday to have a deadline for the decision extended until June 8.

A military appeals court last month dismissed the conviction, saying Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins III was not given a fair trial because a military judge allowed his lead defense attorney to be let go shortly before his 2007 trial.

Prosecutors say Hutchins led a squad of six Marines and a Navy corpsman who dragged a man from his home and killed him in the Iraqi village of Hamdania in 2006.

The 26-year-old Hutchins was sentenced to 11 years.