A Marine whose squad killed 24 Iraqi men, women and children in the so-called Haditha Massacre may not face murder charges. An investigating officer has recommended that Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich should be tried instead for negligent homicide, which carries a maximum three-year penalty. The Iraqis were killed when Marines threw grenades and fired on unarmed civilians in their homes following a roadside bombing of a Marine convoy.
Wuterich said he will "always mourn the unfortunate deaths of the innocent Iraqis who were killed during our response to that attack." But "based on the information I had at the time, I made the best decisions I could have at that time," he said at one hearing. "Engaging was the only choice."