SAN DIEGO (AP) — A military appeals court has thrown out a murder conviction of a Camp Pendleton Marine serving 11 years in a military prison in connection with the 2006 kidnapping and slaying of an Iraqi man in the village of Hamdania.

The U.S. Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals in Washington ruled Thursday that an attorney for Sgt. Larry Hutchins was improperly dismissed before his trial.

The case is now back with the Navy's highest legal authority — the judge advocate general — which will decide whether to appeal the decision or order a retrial.