US marine convicted in Iraq murder

He faces life sentence for conspiring to kill a retired Iraqi policeman.

    Thomas had initially pleaded guilty but
    later withdrew that plea [EPA]

    His lawyer said Thomas was only following orders and he blamed repeated bomb blasts for impairing his judgment.


    Thomas faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, according to his lawyer, Victor Kelley.


    He was also convicted of kidnapping but acquitted of premeditated murder, making a false statement and housebreaking.


    Prosecutors said that during a night-time patrol on April 26, 2006, Thomas's squad hatched a plan to kidnap and kill a suspected insurgent from his house in the town in al-Anbar province.


    When they could not find him, they kidnapped Awad who lived nearby, instead.


    Others accused in the case have testified that several squad members took Awad to a ditch and shot him to death.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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