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Squad Members Testify in Pendleton Court-Martial Case

Former squad members testified against Marine Corporal Trent Thomas during the second day of his court martial at Camp Pendleton. Thomas is the first Marine to be court marshaled for the alleged killi

Squad Members Testify in Pendleton Court-Martial Case

Former squad members testified against Marine Corporal Trent Thomas during the second day of his court martial at Camp Pendleton. Thomas is the first Marine to be court marshaled for the alleged killing of an Iraqi civilian in Hamdania in 2006.

A nine-person jury will decide whether to convict Thomas, but a military general has the final say. Speaking on These Days on KPBS, North County Times reporter Mark Walker says two-thirds of the jury must agree on a verdict.

Walker: If there's in fact a conviction we move immediately into the sentencing phase and the jury in fact decides the punishment. General Mattis then reviews that and he does have the authority to set aside the conviction or take other action that he deems fit.

But, if two-thirds of the jury finds Thomas not-guilty, General Mattis cannot overturn their verdict. This portion of the trial is expected to last about two weeks.