Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Murder Charges Dropped in Iraqi's Death

UPI reports:

The U.S. Army does not have enough evidence for murder charges against a U.S. soldier accused of killing a wounded Iraqi near Kirkuk, a military official ruled.

Lt. Col. Raul Gonzalez has recommended aggravated assault instead of murder charges be lodged against Spc. Christopher P. Shore, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Wednesday.

During a hearing in Hawaii, Shore said his commanding officer, Sgt. 1st Class Trey A. Corrales, ordered him to "finish" a detainee who was on the ground bleeding, the newspaper said. The man died two days later.

Gonzalez, the presiding officer investigating the case, said evidence indicated Corrales -- not Shore -- shot and hit the victim multiple times with an M-4 rifle and displayed intent to kill.

Furthermore, Gonzalez said Corrales created an "unhealthy environment" for his platoon via his "abusive" and "unlawful" behavior, the newspaper said.

Shore, home in Winder, Ga., on leave, told the Journal-Constitution he was relieved by the decision.

"I think the man did the right thing," he said.