Marines release details of alleged assaults on Iraqi civilians

August 5th, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: Marines release details of alleged assaults on Iraqi civilians

SAN DIEGO_Six Marines charged with beating an Iraqi civilian last April
struck the man in the head, face and torso with knees and fists, hitting him
hard enough that they could have killed him, military officials said.

One of the six was also charged with assaulting two other people, a man who
was choked and another who had a loaded pistol shoved in his mouth,
according to a Marine Corps statement released Friday.

The assaults all occurred on April 10 in the Iraqi village of Hamdania,
according to military officials who brought charges on Thursday. Three of
the six already face kidnapping and murder charges in the death of
52-year-old Hashim Ibrahim Awad, also an Iraqi civilian.

Military officials said the April 10 assaults were not related to Awad's
slaying, which occurred on April 26 in Hamdania, but were uncovered during
an investigation into the killing.

The six charged Thursday with assaulting Iraqi civilian Khalid Hamad Daham
by striking him with fists and knees were identified as Lance Cpl. Saul H.
Lopezromo, Pfc. Derek I. Lewis, Lance Cpl. Henry D. Lever, Sgt. Lawrence G.
Hutchins III, Cpl. Trent D. Thomas and Lance Cpl. Jerry E. Shumate Jr.

A statement from the Marine Corps said the attack was "likely to cause death
or grievous bodily harm."

Hutchins, Thomas and Shumate are among eight servicemen previously charged
with Awad's slaying.

Hutchins is additionally charged with assaulting two other Iraqis on April
10. Authorities said he choked Hassam Hamza Fayall and put a loaded pistol
in the mouth of Ali Haraj Rbashby. Both assaults were done with enough force
to cause death or grievous bodily harm, according to authorities.

The conditions of the victims was not immediately available.

Attorney Victor Kelley, who represents Thomas, said his client denies all

"When the facts come out, Cpl. Thomas will be found not guilty," Kelley

A call to Hutchins' attorney rang unanswered Friday, and an attorney for
Shumate could not immediately be located.

All the Marines charged were assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine
Regiment, 1st Marine Division while in Iraq. They are currently assigned to
Headquarters Battalion, 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton.

Lopezromo, Lewis and Lever are not in custody but are still at Camp

The seven Marines and one Navy corpsman charged in Awad's slaying are being
held in the Camp Pendleton brig.

Authorities say the eight went into Hamdania, took Awad from his home, tied
him up, put him in a hole and shot him without provocation on April 26.

Hoping to make Awad appear like an insurgent planting explosives, the troops
then placed an AK-47 assault rifle in his hands and placed a shovel in the
hole, investigators said.

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