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Lawyers for a Navy medic charged with murder, kidnapping and conspiracy in connection with the shooting death of an Iraqi man are looking to make a deal.
Under a tentative agreement reached with military prosecutors, Petty Officer 3rd Class Melson J. Bacos would plead guilty to kidnapping and conspiracy charges while the murder charge would be dropped, according to the North County Times.
The deal could require that Bacos serve up to 12 months in the brig and he would be allowed to remain in the Navy, his attorney told the newspaper.
It’s unclear whether the agreement will require Bacos to testify against his squad mates and fellow defendants.
Bacos and seven Camp Pendleton based Marines are accused of abducting Hashim Ibrahim Awad, an Iraqi, from his home in Hamdaniya. Prosecutors allege the accused bound Awad’s hands and feet, shot him to death and used a stolen shovel and rifle to make it appear as if he was an insurgent caught in the act of planting a roadside bomb.
Bacos allegedly stole a shovel and AK-47 assault rifle from a home in Hamdaniya, according to a narrative of events compiled by government prosecutors. After Awad’s death, Bacos allegedly fired the stolen rifle in the air to make it appear as if Awad had opened fire on the Marines, according to the same document.
Two of the Marines charged in Awad’s death were arraigned at Camp Pendleton today.
PFC John Jodka III and Cpl. Marshall L. Magincalda pleaded not guilty to murder, conspiracy, kidnapping and other charges as expected.