Thursday, November 16, 2006
An Encinitas Marine has been sentenced to 18 months in jail for his role in killing an Iraqi civilian last April. Private First Class John Jodka faced a much heavier sentence, but Jodka agreed to testify against his squadmates. KPBS Radio’s Andrew Phelps has more.
Jodka will spend a year in jail. He has served a third of the sentence while waiting for trial. Under a plea agreement, Jodka won’t be discharged from the Marine Corps, as long as he testifies against six other Marines and a Navy corpsman. Jodka’s squadmates are accused of kidnapping and murdering an unarmed man in the Iraqi town of Hamdania. Jodka pleaded guilty to lesser charges, and said he was “very truly sorry” for his role in the killing. His father, also named John Jodka, spoke to a gaggle of international media about his son’s fate.
Jodka: Unfortunately avoidable choices were made and that avoidable choice has a consequence which my son has stood up for and is now paying for.
Before the plea agreement emerged, the judge had sentenced Jodka to five years in confinement. For KPBS, I’m Andrew Phelps.