You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Marine Corps to retry sergeant in Iraq war case

Jan. 27, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
The Marine Corps will retry Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins, whose murder conviction from the Iraq war has been overturned twice by military courts.
The Marine Corps will retry Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins, whose murder conviction from the Iraq war has been overturned twice by military courts. (Chris Carlson / AP)
  • Filed Under

SAN DIEGO — The Marine Corps announced Monday that it will retry a sergeant whose murder conviction in a major Iraq war crime case has been overturned twice by military courts in recent years.

Marine Corps spokesman Lt. Col. Joseph Kloppel said the military branch had determined that the seriousness of the crime warranted a retrial of the case of Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins III, who led an eight-man squad accused of kidnapping a retired Iraqi policeman and killing him in the village of Hamdania in 2006.

Hutchins expressed disbelief and called the latest development “devastating.”

“There is nothing that I want more than for this whole situation to be over... to be able to move on and begin a life with my family away from all of this,” he wrote in an emailed statement. “But even though it has been nearly eight years, it looks like that will not be possible.”

The military’s highest court overturned his murder conviction and ordered Hutchins released from the brig last summer after ruling there were errors in his case. The sergeant had served more than half of his 11-year sentence.

The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces supported his claims that his rights were violated when he was held in solitary confinement without access to a lawyer for seven days during his 2006 interrogation in Iraq.

Prosecutors said Hutchins waived his right to counsel at the time and willfully told his side of the story without coercion.

The case was overturned the first time by a lower court about four years ago only to be reinstated in 2011 by the highest court that agreed with his petition in 2013. At that time, Hutchins was released for less than a year.

Hutchins has said he thought the man — who turned out to be a retired policeman — was an insurgent leader. Prosecutors accused the squad of planting a shovel and AK-47 to make it appear he was an insurgent.

The six other Marines and a Navy corpsman in his squad served less than 18 months locked up.

Hutchins said his wife, Reyna, is pregnant with their third child. He will be arraigned Wednesday, Kloppel said.

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.

This Week's Army Times

This Week's Army Times

CrossFit vs. unit PT
Troops will do the training plans in a $2.5 million study

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook