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Accused Marine’s Father Responds to Charges

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Aired 4/19/09

The family of one of the Marines charged Thursday in the Haditha incident were at Camp Pendleton to support their son. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

Twent-two-year-old Lance Corporal Justin Sharratt is one of the four Marines accused of unpremeditated murder in Haditha in November of 2005. His squad leader allegedly led the men to nearby homes after a roadside bomb hit their convoy, and instructed them to shoot now, ask questions later. Twenty-four Iraqis died. 

Sharratt's father Darryl Sharratt says the family has been on pins and needles since they first heard about the Haditha incident in an email from their son. He says he believes the squad was under fire and followed rules of engagement.

Darryl Sharrat: They did what they were trained to do, they were U.S. Marines, that's why they are still alive today, they were in a fire fight and they fought for their lives.  

The charges could have been worse. Premeditated murder carries the death penalty, while unpremeditated murder is punishable by dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay, and possible prison for life.

From Camp Pendleton, Alison St John, KPBS news. 

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