The wife of a Camp Pendleton Marine, who recently had his murder conviction reinstated in an Iraq war crime case, wrote a letter to the Naval Clemency Board as her husband's lawyer asked for the Navy to grant him clemency.
Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins’ lawyer, Maj. Babu Kaza, argued Wednesday that the Marine should be granted his freedom because of an error at his 2007 trial that led to a lower court overturning his conviction last year.
In a letter given to the board Wednesday, Hutchins said he is deeply sorry for what happened and suffered nightmares and anxiety because of the death.
Reyna L. Hutchins wrote to the clemency board and described what it was like to have her husband “torn” from her life five years ago.
“I'll never forget that day he was sentenced and the absolute helplessness I felt as I watched the Marines come with hand cuffs and leg shackles to take him to the brig,” said Reyna Hutchins.
She said she cried uncontrollably and tried to console their daughter, Kylie.
“Knowing that any day could again be a potential repeat to that, is something that I live with and cannot properly be put into words,” said Reyna Hutchins.
But, she says her family is strong and the ordeal has made them different people.
“I realize that I could physically lose him at any day in the near future with this new decision from the appeals, and it hurts to know that. But I know we will continue be together forever regardless of what anyone outside of this family decides to do,” said Reyna Hutchins.
Hutchins led a squad accused of kidnapping Hashim Ibrahim Awad from his home in April 2006.
Kaza says Hutchins proved to be an outstanding Marine after he was released and allowed to work at Camp Pendleton.
Former judge advocate Michael McCloskey said Reyna's Letter will affect the clemency board's recommendation.
"It does present some very strong circumstances that would warrant serious considerations from the board for clemency,"said McCloskey.
This is the second time the board has heard Hutchins' case. In 2009, board members recommended clemency, but it was eventually denied by the Secretary of the Navy.