Marine Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins to be Retried in August

An appeals court overturned the Iraq war crimes conviction of Sgt. Lawrene Hutchins III

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins, a U.S. Marine whose war crimes conviction was overturned on appeal, has requested a defense attorney from outside the U.S. Marine Corps to represent him, delaying his arraignment in San Diego. NBC 7's Mari Payton reports.

    A U.S. Marine whose war crimes conviction was overturned on appeal said the idea of facing a retrial is "incredibly difficult" for him and his family.

    Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins III was arraigned on charges of murder, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, false statements and larceny related to the alleged murder of a "unnamed Iraqi civilian" in Iraq in April 2006.

    At the end of this morning's two and a hour hearing, the military judge set Hutchin's trial for August 18 - 29.

    But that judge, Capt. Michael Richardson, denied Hutchins' request that the judge recuse himself from the case.

    Convicted Marine Released From Military Prison

    [DGO] Convicted Marine Released From Military Prison
    After nearly 7 years in jail, convicted local marine Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins III was released from military prison. NBC 7's Lea Sutton reports.

    Hutchins claims that the judge and the defense attorney appointed for him cannot fairly participate in his case because they are unduly influenced by the Secretary of the Navy, who has publicly commented about Hutchins' guilt.

    In an interview after today's hearing, Hutchins told reporters that any judge or defense attorney appointed by the Defense Service Organization is compromised because "they don't want to go against the Secretary of the Navy".

    Hutchins said the reality of a retrial is "incredibly difficult" for him and his family and is causing "a lot of stress on a daily basis for him, his pregnant wife and their two children.

    "We just want this to be over," Hutchins said.

    Marine Murder Conviction Overturned

    [DGO]Marine Murder Conviction Overturned
    The military's highest court has overturned a murder conviction against Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins III, a Camp Pendleton Marine involved in one of the most significant cases against American troops from the Iraq war.

    Hutchins and his squad were accused of marching the man into a ditch and fatally shooting him in Hamdania, and then staging the body to look like the man had been planting bombs.

    After a previous court martial, Hutchins was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

    He was freed from the Miramar Brig in July after Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces ruled that his constitutional rights had been violated at the time of his arrest.

    The Marine Corps highest Court reversed his conviction last June ruling that a confession Hutchins made while being held in a trailer without legal representation should not have been admitted as evidence.

    Marine Makes Plea for Freedom

    [DGO] Marine Makes Plea for Freedom
    A Marine convicted of a war crime in Iraq, is asking for freedom. Former Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins helped kidnap and kill an unarmed Iraqi man in 2007. He was sentenced to 11 years in the brig, but released last year after an error was found in his trial. Now he's back behind bars.