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Contempt Charges Dropped Against Two Pendleton Marines

Federal prosecutors are dropping contempt charges against two Camp Pendleton marines who repeated refused to testify against their squad leader in a federal court. All three are linked to the deaths o

Contempt Charges Dropped Against Two Pendleton Marines

Federal prosecutors are dropping contempt charges against two Camp Pendleton marines who repeated refused to testify against their squad leader in a federal court. All three are linked to the deaths of Iraqi detainees. KPBS Reporter Erik Anderson has details.

The marines refused to testify in a murder trial of their former squad leader. Sergeant Jose Nazario was charged with killing two insurgents in his custody in Fallujah Iraq in 2004. He was being tried in a civilian court because the case was brought after Nazario left the Marine Corps.

Sergeant's Jermaine Nelson and Ryan Weemer are the government's only direct witnesses in the killings of four Iraqi's. Nazario was found Not Guilty.Nelson and Weemer still face murder charges in military court for their role in the deaths.

Federal prosecutors say it didn't make sense to pursue the contempt of court charges in light of the serious charges the marines face on base. Both Nelson and Weemer have admitted in interviews that they killed a detainee in their custody.

They stopped talking about the case after they hired attorneys.

Erik Anderson KPBS News.

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