US Marine makes plea deal in Iraqi civilian murder case

October 21st, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: US Marine makes plea deal in Iraqi civilian murder case

Media: The Associated Press
Date: 21 October 2006


SAN DIEGO_A U.S. Marine will plead guilty next week for his role in the
killing of an Iraqi man last April, his father said.

Pfc. John J. Jodka, 20, will plead guilty to assault and obstruction of
justice, his father, John Jodka, told The Associated Press in a telephone
interview Friday.

The elder Jodka said murder, kidnapping and other charges would be dropped
in exchange for the plea, but later said it was premature to discuss details
of the arrangement.

Attorney Joseph Casas, who represents Jodka, said he could not disclose
details of the negotiations but said the deal was "in the best interests of
my client and the best interests of justice and the best interests of the
Marine Corps."

Casas said that Jodka would testify at his court-martial and that the judge
was not expected to sentence his client until Nov. 15.

"J.J. will have his chance to talk about his account of what happened in
Hamdania," Casas said, adding he would be calling witnesses during the court

Jodka, who is based at Camp Pendleton in California, is one of seven Marines
and one Navy corpsman who were charged in the murder of Hashim Ibrahim Awad
in the town of Hamdania, west of Baghdad. As part of a separate plea
negotiation, the corpsman recently testified about what he remembers from
the incident.

Jodka would be the first Marine to plead guilty in the case.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Melson J. Bacos, a Navy corpsman on patrol with the
Marines, pleaded guilty Oct. 6 to kidnapping and conspiracy under a deal
with prosecutors. He agreed to testify at his court-martial and during
upcoming proceedings about what he witnessed.

Details of Jodka's plea negotiations were not disclosed by order of the
judge in the case, Jodka's father said. He added that his son would not be
sentenced next week.

Marine Corps spokesman Lt. Col. Sean Gibson said it would be inappropriate
to discuss any potential negotiations between the government and the

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