U.S. Marine convicted in death of Iraqi soldier
( Reuters ) - A U.S. Marine was convicted of negligent homicide on Thursday in the 2006 stabbing death of an Iraqi soldier, but cleared of the more serious charge of unpremeditated murder.
Lance Cpl. Delano V. Holmes, a 22-year-old reservist from Indianapolis, Indiana, was expected to face a maximum of eight years in the brig.
If convicted of the more serious charge, he could have faced life behind bars.
A sentencing hearing for Holmes, who was the first Marine charged with murdering an Iraqi soldier during the Iraq war, began at Camp Pendleton, California, after the verdict was returned by a military jury.
Prosecutors contended during the trial that Holmes repeatedly stabbed Munther Jasem Muhammed Hassin on December 31, 2006.
But defense attorneys say the Marine stabbed the Iraqi soldier in self defense after the soldier refused to put out a cigarette and cell phone, actions the Marine believed would reveal their position to enemy snipers in the area.
Holmes has been held in the Camp Pendleton brig since his return to the United States.