The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas on June 22, 2006 · Page 7
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The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas · Page 7

Hays, Kansas
Issue Date:
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Page 7
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THURSDAY, JUNE 22,2006 NATIONAL THE HAYS DAILY NEWS A7 7 Marines, 1 sailor charged with murdering Iraqi man CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (AP) — The wife of one of seven Marines charged along with a sailor with premeditated murder in the shooting death of an Iraqi man said today that her husband was shocked by the allegations. "He's just a great person, a great father, a great husband and a great Marine. His being In prison doesn't make any sense," Erica Thomas told CBS's "The Early Show." She said her husband, Marine Cpl. Trent D. Thomas, sounded scared at first and had been going through a roller coaster of emotions — he never had a chance to cope with his best friend's death while fighting in Iraq, he was just now getting to know his daughter, born shortly after he started his second tour, and now the charges. "It's been a rough two or three years for him, but he's a tough guy and I know we'll get through this," she said. Thomas and the other servicemen were charged Wednesday in the death of Hashim Ibrahim Awad, who was pulled from his home and shot while U.S. troops hunted for insurgents. They could face the death penalty if convicted. All eight also were charged with kidnapping. Other charges Include conspiracy, larceny and providing false official statements. Col. Stewart Navarre, chief of staff for Marine Corps Installations West, announced the charges at Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base, where the eight are being held. The troops are members of the Pendleton-based 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines Regiment. The case is separate from the alleged killing by other Marines of 24 Iraqi civilians in the western Iraqi city of Ha- ditha last November. A pair of investigations related to that case is still under way, and no criminal charges have been filed. In another case, the U.S. military in Iraq announced that murder charges were filed against a fourth Army soldier In the shooting deaths May 9 of three civilians who had been detained by U.S. troops. Some or all of the troops being held at Camp Pendleton could face the death penalty, though Navarre said "it's far too early to speculate on that right now." Lt. Gen. John Sattler, the senior com- mander at Pendleton, will decide whether and how to proceed with preliminary hearings known in the military justice system as Article 32 proceedings. That in turn could lead to courts-martial for some or all of the men. All eight have hired private attorneys and also have been given military defense lawyers. The Pentagon began investigating shortly after Awad was killed April 26 in Hamdania, west of Baghdad. A charging document provided to The Associated Press by Jane Slegel, an attorney for Marine Pfc. John J. Jodka, alleges that the Iraqi was shot by five of the Marines and that an AK-47 assault rifle was placed in the victim's hands, apparently to make It appear he was an insurgent. A senior Pentagon official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, has said a shovel also was planted at the scene to make it appear the man was trying to plant an explosive device. Besides White and Jodka, charged were Marine Sgt. Lawrence G. Hutchins FBI investigates prison shooting TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — An FBI team headed to a federal prison today to begin investigating a deadly Shootout between a guard and federal agents who were trying to arrest him and five others indicted in a sex- for-contraband scandal. Corrections officer Ralph Hill, an Air Force veteran, had smuggled a gun into the prison and opened fire Wednesday morning on FBI agents and Justice Department investigators, officials and his attorney said. Hill, 43, and Justice Department special agent William "Buddy" Sentner were killed, and a prison employee helping with the arrests was wounded. The five surviving guards have pleaded not guilty and were scheduled to appear in court for a bail hearing this afternoon. The men were indicted by a grand jury Tuesday on charges alleging that five of them had sex with female inmates in exchange for contraband such as money, alcohol or drugs, and that another helped hi the scheme. Officials did not release the gunman's identity, but attorney Tim Jansen said the dead guard was Hill, one of his clients. He said Hill's behavior was "totally out of char-1 > acter." "He had no criminal history or issues of violence in his background," Jansen said. Officials said the guard fired with a personal weapon — guards are prohibited from bringing personal weapons into prisons but are not screened the way visitors are. Agents from the Justice Department's inspector general's office returned fire, killing the guard. It was not immediately clear who fired the shot that killed Sentner. "These agents were out just trying to do their job, trying to do an arrest in a very controlled situation, and it just didn't come down exactly as planned," FBI agent Michael Folmar said. III, Marine Lance Cpl. Tyler A. Jackson, Marine Lance Cpl. Jerry E. Shumate Jr., Marine Lance Cpl. Robert B. Pennington, Marine Cpl. Marshall L. Magincalda and Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Melson J. Bacos. "Believe me, there are two sides to this story," said Jeremiah Sullivan III, who represents Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Melson J. Bacos. According to the charging document, the troops were staking out an intersection to see whether anyone appeared to place explosives in holes * along the road. When no one came, Magincalda, Thomas, Pennington and Bacos went into a nearby home, stole a shovel and an AK-47, and went looking for an insurgent named Saleh Gowad. When they couldn't find Gowad, they went into a house belonging to Awad and kidnapped him, prosecutors assert. Magincalda, Thomas, Pennington and Bacos forced Awad to the ground and bound his feet, then took him to their hideout and placed him in a hole, according to the document. Hutchins, Thomas and Shumate fired M-16 rifles at Awad while Jackson and Jodka fired M-249 automatic weapons, killing him, the document said. Bacos then fired the AK-47 into the air to expend some shell casings, and Magincalda collected the casings and put them by the body, the paper said. Pennington cleaned prints off the AK-47 and put it in Awad's hands, it said. Hutchins, the top-ranking Marine, told his men to make false statements and on April 28 submitted "a false written report regarding the factors and circumstances related to Awad's death," according ,to the document. The larceny charge relates to the theft of the AK-47 and the shovel. Military law expert at Franklin Pierce Law Center said it is likely that deals would be reached and some charges reduced. "The chances are they will go after who they think is the least culpable, give him a deal and then have him testify against his comrades," said John Hutson, president and dean of center and former adjutant general of the U.S. Navy. "It's a whole lot easier with that kind of direct testimony." Railroad Killer' to be executed HOUSTON (AP) — A judge ruled that "Railroad Killer" Angel Maturino Resendiz is mentally competent to be executed next week despite claims from his attorneys that he believes he is half-man, half-angel. State District Judge William Harmon ruled Wednesday at the conclusion of a three-day hearing. Resendiz, who is linked to at least 15 murders across the country, is scheduled to be executed next week for the 1998 rape-slaying of a Texas doctor. Resendiz "He knows he's been convicted of capital murder," Harmon said. "He knows he's received a death sentence and he knows that today. And he knows he's going to be executed on Tuesday." Resendiz's lawyer said he would appeal Wednesday's decision. Resendiz, 46, was convicted of killing Claudia Benton, a researcher at Texas Medical Center, who was stabbed, beaten with a statue and raped in her Houston home. MIKE EWEN /Associated Press FBI special agent-in-charge Matthew Pellegrino, second from left, talks with FBI agents following a shooting Wednesday inside the Tallahassee Detention Center, which is part of the Tallahassee Federal Correctional Institution, in Tallahassee, Fla. Sentner, 44, previously worked for the Se- icret.Serviceand spent a decadent.the White House, working for former Presidents l 'B'u§h • -\ and Clinton, the agent's father said. "He was a kid that was always well-disciplined. He never got into trouble," the father, also named William Sentner, told the Orlando Sentinel. He said his son had recently married and was looking forward to having children. The identity of the wounded prison employee was not disclosed. Folmar said the man should fully recover. He declined to discuss details until the FBI team completes its investigation. Hill and the five other guards had been indicted on conspiracy charges in a scheme that went on for two years inside the prisons, according to prosecutors. -The>contraband '. A was not specified in r the indictment, but cbuld Include drugs, alcohol and money. The detention center houses mostly men who are being processed before entering the prison system and is part of the Tallahassee Federal Correctional Institution. A low-security prison for female inmates is next to the detention center. Together the men's and women's units house 1,445 inmates. Besides the sex-for-contraband charges, the guards were accused of threatening to plant contraband in inmates' belongings or have them sent to other institutions farther from their families if they reported the illegal activity. For her hand in marriage DIAMOND JBWBLUS 1009 Main Dewatewft ttayi MLK papers up for auction NEW YORK (AP) — When the collected papers of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. go up for auction next week, don't expect any small-time memorabilia dealers to make bids. With a pre-sale value between $15 million to $30 million and the King family's stipulation that the 10,000 items remain in a single collection, the June 30 sale by Sotheby's auction house is expected to attract academic and civic institutions. Those expressing interest include a "pan-Atlanta" consortium in the Georgia capital, where King was born and grew up, various universities and libraries, the National Archives and the Library of Congress, Sotheby's officials said as the collection went on display Wednesday. A previous sale three years ago failed to materialize. The collection includes manuscripts, speeches, personal correspondence and an array of day- to-day items bearing notations, comments and thoughts by a man who seemingly used every scrap of paper and never threw any of them away. They cover the important period of 1946 to 1968, when King, inspired by the example of India's Mohandas K. Gandhi, formulated his nonviolent strategy for achieving social justice, and became the face and voice of the American civil rights revolution. Among the papers are more than 100 sermons, a draft of the "I Have a Dream" speech that King delivered at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, P.C., on Aug. 28,1963, and King's acceptance address when he received the Nobel Peace in 1964. Fridays in The Hays Daily News ... FAITH News Hoflin HDN (436) GotNewstoRoportP Call: 628-1081 1-800-657-6017 *HDN (436) on your Nex-Tech Wireless phone Lart 2006 Quest Loaded Save '6,000 off M8RP New '06 Titan as low as *19,904 after «Z750 Customer Cash (Maek»aseXE4x2TrteH) / 2006 Nissan AHfnta Z.5S lease starts at *199 per month (That is a base with *2440 due at signing+tax and fees) Program Sentras Special Puy as low as M0,995 Used Cars starting as low as H995 with only 45K on It 199S Ford Controur M. V6 Stock 656603A 3115 S. Kansas • Topeka, Kansas ^ 785-267-6700 • ^ Help us stay on top of the latest news and weather. Now you also can dial *436 on your Nex-Tech Wireless phone when you see news or weather events happening. Each time you report news from your wireless phone you'll be entered to win a free t-shirt from Nex-Tech Wireless. Also, visit the Nex-Tech Wireless website at to register for a year's subscription to the Hays Daily News wireless .THE . THE VOICE OF THE HIQH PLAINS Partnering together to keen the community informed! If you do not receive your paper by 5:00 p.m. in Hays, 6:00 p.m. outside of Hays, Monday through Friday or by 7:00 a.m. on Sunday ... or if a problem persists and you are unable to work it out with your carrier, we would like to know about it. Please call our Circulation Department at... 785-628-1081 or Toll Free 800-657-6017 8:00 A.M. TO 7:00 P.M. MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY 7:00 A.M. TO 10:00 A.M. SUNDAY We will do our best to get the problem resolved as quickly as possible. EEABL.E AVGVIOII Deadline to Bid Friday, June 23, 2006 5p.m. Call 625-2578 or 1-800-569-0144 For more Information MASTERCARD, VISA, DISCOVER, and AMERICAN EXPRESS ACCEPTEDI Listen to your favorite station for details and visit KAtt 9TUUO

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