According to KFMB San Diego, Channel 8 News, another Marine accepted a plea bargain in the Al Hamdania, Iraq, murder case.
The prosecution contends that members of the "Pendleton 8" squad abducted an Iraqi man, Hashim Ibrahim Awad, from his home after their plot to kidnap and kill a known insurgent failed.
Prosecutors contend that the Iraqi man was subsequently shot and a shovel and AK-47 were planted next to the body to make it appear that Awad was an insurgent planting a roadside bomb.
In October, Navy Hospital Corpsman Petty Officer 3rd Class Melson J. Baco entered a guilty plea after prosecutors worked out a plea bargain with him and his attorney. Private First Class John Jodka III plead guilty to lesser charges.
Today, Lance Corporal Tyler Jackson entered his pleas through his attorney. It is reported that all three servicemen plead guilty to reduced charges in return for their testimony.
The Pendleton 8's house of cards has crumbled further with Jackson copping to the latest plea agreement. How many more will accept plea agreements for their testimony. And then, will a full account of the truth be made known or will it be the prosecution's version of the truth?
As I said in earlier posts, this case is complicated due to the nature of combat fatigue and stress. We are going to have to keep an open mind as the remaining five marines trials unfold and their testimonies are given.
Baco has already discussed the pressures he was under and expressed remorse at the unfortunate demise of Awad. I would like to hear from the remaining patrol members about the pressures that they faced in Iraq in the lead up to the unfortunate Hamdania incidence. What was going on in their minds that morning in Hamdania and the orders that they were given have yet to be revealed.
The Marine Corps has remained especially mum about this case and have yet to authorize press releases of the proceedings.
Stay tuned as more information as it becomes available. News channel 8 has been an excellent source of trial information. Check for periodic updates at: News Channel 8 KFMB San Diego
Austin American Statesman: Marine Enters Pleas
Seattle PI: Marine enters pleas in Iraqi case