Attorney: Officer Recommends Dropping Charges Against Marine

SAN DIEGO (AP) - The attorney for a Marine accused of failing to report the deaths of 24 Iraqis at Haditha says an investigating officer recommends his client not be charged.

But the commanding general overseeing the case will make the final decision.

Captain Randy Stone could face up to two-and-a-half years in prison if he's convicted in a court-martial at Camp Pendleton.

At a preliminary hearing last month, Stone argued that he never ordered an investigation of the 2005 killings because he believed the deaths resulted from lawful combat.

Stone is among four officers charged with dereliction of duty. Three enlisted Marines are charged with murder.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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