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Sixth Marine Cleared in Haditha Killing
LOS ANGELES — A US Marine was acquitted Wednesday, June 4, over the killing of 24 Iraqi civilians in 2005, the six man to be exonerated in the cold-blood murder.
Lieutenant Andrew Grayson, 27, was declared "not guilty on all charges" by a jury, said a spokesman for the Camp Pendleton military base in southern California where the hearing was held, reported Reuters.
Eight US soldiers were accused of killing 24 Iraqi civilians, including seven women and three children, near Haditha as they had gone on rampage after their patrol was attacked.
Grayson, who served two tours of duty in Iraq, had been charged with covering up the killing.
He was accused of ordering another Marine to delete photographs of the bodies from a computer and digital camera and lying to investigators.
He was also charged with obstruction of justice, but the military judge dismissed this charge Tuesday.
Grayson could have faced up to two decades in prison if convicted on all of the charges.
Grayson was the first Marine to stand trial in connection with the killings.
Two other Marines, including accused ringleader Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, still face courts-martial over the killings, which brought international condemnation.
Four Marines and four officers, including Grayson, were initially charged over the killings.