The Marine Corps dropped all charges today against two Marines tied to an alleged massacre of 24 Iraqis in 2005. Citing holes in prosecution evidence, the general reviewing the charges cleared Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt, accused of murdering three civilians to avenge a comrade's death, and Capt. Randy Stone, charged with turning a blind eye to the incident in Haditha.
Forensic evidence was at odds with accounts by Iraqi witnesses in the case against Sharratt, with one officer citing financial motives for witnesses to lie, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Stone, inexperienced in his advisory role, might have been remiss in his duties, the general wrote, but was never criminally so. Charges are still pending against five other Marines.