North County Times
Jermaine Nelson (left) walks with his attorneys towards a hearing in February at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside.
A Marine apologized for killing an unarmed Iraqi detainee during a battle to recapture the city of Fallujah.
Sgt. Jermaine Nelson told a military judge at Camp Pendleton on Wednesday that he failed the Marines by following his squad leader's order and ignoring his training. Nelson said he gave into peer pressure by obeying Sgt. Jose Luis Nazario. Nelson said he should have left and asked superiors for help.
Nelson, a 28-year-old New Yorker, spoke near the end of his sentencing hearing. The judge will announce the Marine's punishment later in the afternoon. On Tuesday, Nelson's attorney said a plea deal had been worked out that would keep his client out of prison and could possibly include an honorable discharge.
On Tuesday, the government dropped a murder charge against Nelson when he pleaded guilty to dereliction of duty.
Nazario and another squad member have been acquitted of charges for the deaths of four Iraqis inside a home in November 2004.