The Marine Corps announced Monday that it has charged a Marine sergeant with murder in connection with the killing of an unarmed Iraqi prisoner during fighting in the city of Fallujah in late 2004.
Sgt. Jermaine A. Nelson was charged with one count of unpremeditated murder Thursday, the same day that a charge was unsealed in federal court in Riverside against former Marine Jose Luis Nazario in the same incident. Nazario pleaded not guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the alleged killing of two prisoners.
Prosecutors say that Marines killed unarmed, bound prisoners rather than take time to process them as required by rules involving captives. The Marines were given orders to rush to the defense of comrades pinned down during the house-to-house fighting and told superiors that they had prisoners. An unidentified Marine then allegedly asked over the phone: “They’re still alive?”
An affidavit filed in federal court alleged that Nazario, a squad leader, killed one Iraqi prisoner and then yelled to fellow Marines, “Who else wants to kill these guys, because I don’t want to do it all myself.”
Border agent pleads not guilty
A U.S. Border Patrol agent pleaded not guilty Monday to charges that he fatally shot an illegal immigrant who he claimed threatened him with a rock.
Nicholas Corbett, 41, is charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter and negligent homicide in the death of 22-year-old Francisco Javier Dominguez Rivera, of Puebla, Mexico, in January just north of the border.
Dominguez, his two brothers and a girlfriend of one of the brothers were stopped by Corbett on Jan. 12. The four had crossed the Mexican border near Naco.
During an Aug. 6 hearing, the three said they turned around and were running back within a few hundred yards of the border, trying to evade capture, when they saw Corbett’s vehicle heading toward them.
Corbett told supervisory agents he had shot Francisco Dominguez after the man allegedly threatened him with a rock. Witnesses, however, said Corbett shot Dominguez without provocation.
Cheney keeping wiretap papers
Vice President Dick Cheney’s office acknowledged for the first time Monday that it has dozens of documents related to the administration’s warrantless surveillance program, but it signaled that it will resist efforts by congressional Democrats to obtain them.
The disclosure by Cheney’s counsel, Shannen W. Coffin, came on the day that the Senate Judiciary Committee had set as a deadline for the Bush administration to turn over documents related to the wiretapping program, which allowed the National Security Agency to monitor communications between the United States and other countries without warrants.
The committee’s chairman, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., said Monday that he will pursue contempt proceedings against administration officials if the documents are not produced.
13th body found in bridge collapse
The body of the 13th victim of the Interstate 35W bridge collapse was recovered Monday night from the dark waters of the Mississippi River.
Greg Jolstad, a 45-year-old road construction worker from Mora, Minn., was the last known victim.
Jolstad, a machine operator for Progressive Contractors Inc., of St. Michael, Minn., was one of 18 construction workers doing resurfacing work on the bridge and the only one among them who wasn’t found after the bridge fell Aug. 1.
Jolstad is survived by his wife, Lisa, and three stepchildren, Katie, 19; Kim, 18, and Nick, 17.
Man admits killing Internet love rival
A man who became entangled in a lovers’ triangle over the Internet pleaded guilty to manslaughter Monday in the shooting death of his rival – a co-worker at a factory.
Thomas Montgomery, 48, averted a murder trial by pleading guilty to first-degree manslaughter for killing Brian Barrett, 22, in the parking lot of Dynabrade Corp. in the suburb of Clarence.
Barrett was shot three times at close range after finishing a night shift last September. His body was found in his truck in the parking lot two days later.
Both men were involved in an Internet relationship with a 40-something West Virginia woman who was using her daughter’s Web page information to pose as an 18-year-old.
The motive, investigators said, was jealousy over Barrett’s budding Internet relationship with the same woman Montgomery had been wooing.
Under the plea, Montgomery is expected to be sentenced to 20 years in prison on Oct. 29. From wire reports