Haditha: Investigating officer recommends murder charges be dropped against Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich

Via AP:

An investigating officer has recommended that the Marine at the center of the biggest prosecution of U.S. troops in the Iraq war should not stand trial on murder charges, a defense attorney said Thursday.

Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, 27, of Meriden, Conn., is charged with the unpremeditated murder of 17 Iraqis in Haditha in 2005. The former squad leader allegedly directed his Marines in an assault that left 24 men, women and children dead.

Lt. Col. Paul Ware recommended that Wuterich should be tried for the lesser offense of negligent homicide in the deaths of five children and two women, said Neal Puckett, Wuterich’s attorney.

Malkin’s got more on the story, and also contact information for Rep. John Murtha, who shamelessly led the charge last year that it was the “policy of our troops” to deliberately target and kill innocent civilians.