Government prosecutors are set to present their case against Lance Cpl. Jerry Shumate Jr. during an Article 32 hearing scheduled for tomorrow morning at Camp Pendleton.
Shumate, six other Marines and a Navy medic all face murder, kidnapping and conspiracy charges in connection with the April 26 shooting death of Hashim Ibrahim Awad, a citizen of Hamdaniya, Iraq.
Shumate is one of five Marines who allegedly shot Awad to death, according to a narrative of events compiled by government prosecutors. Shumate is also charged with assaulting another Iraqi civilian in an unrelated incident that allegedly took place earlier in April.
The hearing is designed to help a presiding military official make a recommendation as to whether the charges should be dismissed, handled administratively or if Shumate should face a full court martial proceeding.
Steve Immel, Shumate’s defense attorney, declined to comment on his strategy heading into Tuesday’s hearing.
“We’ll see how much evidence is going to be submitted,” Immel said. “I really don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow.”
Two of the Marines charged in Awad’s death, Cpl. Marshall L. Magincalda and John Jodka III, faced Article 32 hearings last month. No witnesses testified and little new evidence was made public although prosecutors claimed that two of the accused Marines have confessed to kidnapping and killing Awad, while a third Marine outlined the alleged conspiracy in a videotaped statement.
The presiding officers in those hearings have yet to issue recommendations.