Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins twice freed on appeal for Hamdaniya killing
The conviction of Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins III for a killing in Hamdaniya, Iraq in 2006 was overturned June 26, 2013 by the military's highest court. — Photo by K.C. Alfred
Gretel C. Kovach of the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper reported that a Camp Pendleton Marine freed on appeal after serving more than six years for the murder of an unarmed man in Hamdaniya, Iraq, during the height of the war will be retried in a military court.
Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins III will be arraigned Wednesday at Camp Pendleton, Marine Corps Forces Central Command said Monday.
During a subsequent court martial, whose date has not been set, Hutchins will face charges of murder, obstruction of justice, making false official statements and conspiracy to commit larceny.
The Hamdaniya killing had provoked outrage in the United States and Iraq, coming on the heels of the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal involving Army military police, and the killing by a different group of Camp Pendleton Marines of 24 civilians in Haditha.
The fallout included a refusal by Iraqi officials to grant legal immunity to American forces and the collapse of negotiations over a long-term U.S. military presence in Iraq.
After Hutchins’ 2007 conviction, his case was twice overturned on legal technicalities.
The commanding general of Marine Corps Forces Central Command moved for a retrial “due to the seriousness of the charges and the amount of evidence that had been compiled through investigations, to include sworn statements,” said Lt. Col. Joseph Kloppel, a spokesman for Marine Corps Forces Central Command.