By Haytham Faraj
Wuterich was charged with killing five men who dismounted from a car after an IED exploded and began to run away. They had been taught by lawyers who are experts in the rules of engagement that if a there is an IED and you observe military aged males running from the area, such an act may be considered a hostile act and you may engage. He fired. One of the immunized witnesses came in to court ready to testify that Wuterich shot and killed all the men. I set the scene in the court room using props and tape on the ground after I locked him into his testimony, then asked him to stand up and demonstrate what he had just described. He failed miserably. The jurors stood up and were given permission by the judge to move where they need to so they can see the action. By the 4th hour of examination, he testified that he was the one that shot them. Military juries are allowed to ask questions. At the conclusion of my examination one of the jurors asked: you shot them but do you know if you killed them? He said I killed them. I dont miss!
I did the voir dire (pure TLC) it was reported on in the LA Times.
I did the opening also lost of TLC: 1st person and put things into action
I cross examined about 15 of 20 witnesses.
After 2.5 weeks of testimony, during my cross of the Governments 5th or 6th immunized liar, during a lunch break following a devastating cross examination for which I had a door built and brought into the courtroom to have the witness demonstrate his testimony which proved he was lying, the government capitulated and offered to drop all the charges and craft a new charge of dereliction of duty. They also agreed to no punishment. So although the maximum possible sentence was 3 months. The only deal I would consider was that they take all punishment off the table and they did. I was still against the deal. As I went back to my cross examination of the witness who led to the deal being offered, I destroyed his credibility further when he admitted that he initially told the truth but changed it after he was pressured by investigators. The coup came when he testified that he had lied about his lies when he began to testify 3 days before.
Here are the Los Angeles Times article’s about this Trial:
January 7, 2012 – Jury chosen for court-martial of Marine in 24 Iraqi deaths
January 9, 2012 – Court-martial begins in Marine killing of 24 Iraqis
January 12, 2012 – Marine testifies squad leader asked him to lie about Iraqi killings
January 14, 2012 – Platoon commander says he gave order to ‘clear’ Iraqi house
January 19, 2012 – Rules of engagement a key issue in Marine’s court-martial
January 21, 2012 – Marine’s court-martial resumes with no plea deal
January 25, 2012 – Marine gets no jail time in killing of 24 Iraqi civilians