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Three Camp Pendleton Marines will face courts martial for murder, kidnapping and conspiracy in connection with the April shooting death of an Iraqi man in Hamdaniya, according to a decision of the commander of the Camp Pendleton-based 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.

Lt. Gen. James Mattis’ pronouncement applies to Pfc. John Jodka III, Cpl. Marshall L. Magincalda and Lance Cpl. Jerry E. Shumate Jr. and comes after he reviewed the recommendations of military officers who presided over theirArticle 32 hearings, according to a Marine Corps press release.

Prosecutors allege thatJodka, Magincalda and Shumate, along with four other Marines and a Navy medic, abducted Hashim Ibrahim Awad from his home, bound his hands and feet, shot him to death and used a stolen shovel and rifle to make it appear as if Awad were an insurgent caught in the act of planting a roadside bomb.

All three Marines will stand trial for murder, conspiracy, housebreaking and kidnapping but will no longer face the death penalty if convicted, according to the press release.

Magincalda and Shumate will each face larceny charges, while Magincalda faces a charge of making a false official statement. Jodka is also charged with assault.

Shumate will stand trial on an assault charge related to the alleged beating of an Iraqi civilian during a separate incident.

Dates have not yet been set for their trials.

Mattis also dismissed several of the charges brought against each man.

In Jodka’s case, charges of larceny, making a false official statement and attempting to impede an investigation were dropped.

Charges of assault and attempting to impede an investigation were dismissed against Magincalda case and Shumate will no longer face charges of assault or attempting to impede an investigation.

Mattis also dismissed assault charges against Lance Cpl. Henry Lever, who was accused of allegedly beating an Iraqi civilian.

The four other Marines and one Navy medic are scheduled to face Article 32 hearings in the coming weeks.

DANIEL STRUMPF

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