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Prosecution to rest case against Marine being retried


Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins IIISAN DIEGO (AP) — Military prosecutors on Wednesday are expected to give closing arguments in their case against a Marine Corps sergeant being retried on a murder charge in a major Iraq war crimes case involving the 2006 killing of a retired Iraqi policeman.

Defense Attorney Christopher Oprison, representing Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins III, is also expected to give closing arguments at Camp Pendleton, north of San Diego.

Hutchins is being retried in the killing of the unarmed man in the village of Hamdania after the military’s highest court overturned his murder conviction in 2013.

Prosecutors say the squad Hutchins led kidnapped the 52-year-old Iraqi and shot him multiple times and then planted an AK-47 rifle to make it look like he was an insurgent.

Hutchins faces returning to the brig if the jury finds him guilty again of murder.

He served seven years of his 11-year sentence before the court found interrogators had violated his rights when he was detained in Iraq and held in solitary confinement without access to a lawyer for a week.

Five former squad members refused to testify against Hutchins.

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