Marine accepts plea deal in Iraqi civilian deaths
CAMP PENDLETON — A Marine accused of killing unarmed Iraqi women and children pleaded guilty Monday to negligent dereliction of duty in a deal that will bring a maximum of three months confinement and end the largest and longest-running criminal case against U.S. troops to emerge from the Iraq War.
Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, 31, of Meriden, Conn., led the Marine squad in 2005 that killed 24 Iraqis in the town of Haditha in a series of raids on homes after a roadside bomb exploded near a Marine convoy, killing one Marine and wounding two others.
It was a stunning and muted end to the case once described as the Iraq War’s version of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam. The government failed to get one manslaughter conviction in the case that involved eight Marines.
The Haditha incident is considered among the war’s defining moments, further tainting America’s reputation when it was already at a low point after the release of photos of prisoner abuse by U.S. troops at Abu Ghraib prison.
Huckabee relative among 3 killed in kidnapping case
LITTLE ROCK — Three people, including a distant cousin of former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, have died in a homicide and kidnapping case in Arkansas, police said Monday.
Arkadelphia Police told the Associated Press that Donald Hux shot his ex-wife, Amy Huckabee, before he was fatally shot by law enforcement officers in the southern part of the state. Amy Huckabee’s current husband, Sandy Huckabee, was found dead Sunday at the couple’s home in Arkadelphia.
Sandy Huckabee’s father was the first cousin of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s father.
Authorities said Mr. Hux, 36, abducted Amy Huckabee and their three children in Arkadelphia and then drove about 80 miles to El Dorado in Union County. He dropped the children off somewhere there, and they weren’t hurt, the local sheriff’s office said.
Meanwhile, police in Arkadelphia learned about the situation and went to the Huckabee home to do a welfare check. They found Sandy Huckabee’s body inside and issued a warrant for Mr. Hux’s arrest on capital murder, kidnapping and other charges.
Small-town mayor shot fatally; suspect surrenders