- The Washington Times - Monday, September 25, 2006

From combined dispatches

Three Marines from Camp Pendleton in California will face courts-martial on murder charges in the death of an Iraqi man in the town of Hamdania, the Marine Corps said yesterday.

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 in April. The others face preliminary hearings in coming weeks.

Cpl. Marshall Magincalda, Pfc. John Jodka and Lance Cpl. Jerry Shumate are charged with murder, conspiracy and housebreaking. They also are charged with seizing and holding the victim against his will.

Pfc. Jodka also faces a charge of assault, while Cpl. Magincalda and Lance Cpl. Shumate also are charged with larceny.

Prosecutors said Mr. Awad was kidnapped from his home in April and fatally shot.

The Marines are accused of having attempted to cover up the killing by planting a shovel and an AK-47 rifle next to the body to make it look as if Mr. Awad was an insurgent planting a roadside bomb.

Assault charges against another Marine, Lance Cpl. Henry Lever, relating to a separate incident on April 10 were dismissed.

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