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Marine pleads guilty in Haditha trial

Mary Slosson reports for Reuters:

The U.S. Marine sergeant accused of leading a massacre of 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha pleaded guilty on Monday to dereliction of duty, ending the final prosecution stemming from a 2005 incident that brought international condemnation of U.S. troops.

Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich, 31, entered his plea as part of a deal with military prosecutors in which more serious charges of involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault were dismissed.

He faces a maximum sentence of three months of confinement, forfeiture of two-thirds of his pay for three months and a reduction in rank when he is sentenced on Tuesday at the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base north of San Diego, a base spokesman said.

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