January 25, 2012
A US Marine accused over the killing of 24 Iraqis in 2005 was demoted but will serve no time behind bars, a judge ruled, as locals in Iraq condemned the light sentence.
Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich, who led an eight-man squad whose other members have all been let off, was sentenced to 90 days confinement but he will not serve them under a deal with prosecutors.
The 31-year-old admitted one count of negligent dereliction of duty Monday, but charges of manslaughter over the killings — whose victims included women and children — were dropped as part of a plea deal.
Wuterich — who denied he was a “cold-blooded baby-killer” — was sentenced to 90 days of confinement and reduction to private (E-1), said a statement from Camp Pendleton, California, where he has been on court martial.