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Another Camp Pendleton-Based Marine has Day in Court

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Aired 4/19/09

A military Judge heard pretrial motions Monday in the courts martial of Lance Cpl. Robert Pennington. Pennington is one of seven Marines and a Navy corpsman accused in the kidnapping and murder of an Iraqi man in Hamdania in April. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

Defense attorneys for Lance Cpl. Robert Pennington declined to reveal if they will ask for a plea agreement, and focused instead on attempts to have his confession eliminated from the evidence at his courts martial. Pennington is 22 years old, and was on his third tour of duty when the alleged kidnapping and murder took place. The special agent who elicited his confession following the incident, was also in her early 20s. She testified that she established a good rapport with Pennington and used no coercion to elicit his statement.   

Four of the eight accused of the kidnap and murder in Hamdania have already pleaded guilty in plea deals that have resulted in prison terms of between 12 and 21 months . Pennington could become the second to plead not guilty and go to trial. Two members of the squad, including the squad leader, have yet to be arraigned. From Camp Pendleton Alison St John, KPBS News

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