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Archive for Saturday, October 21, 2006

Attorney: Marine makes plea deal in murder case

October 21, 2006

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— A Camp Pendleton Marine will plead guilty next week for his role in the killing of an Iraqi civilian in April, his attorney said Friday.

Pfc. John J. Jodka, 20, of Encinitas, would be the first Marine to plead guilty in the case, in which six other Marines and one Navy corpsman also were charged with murder.

Jodka will plead guilty to assault and obstruction of justice, his father, John Jodka, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. The elder Jodka said murder, kidnapping and other charges would be dropped in exchange for the plea, but later said it was premature to discuss details of the arrangement.

Attorney Joseph Casas, who represents Jodka, said he could not disclose details of the negotiations but said the deal was "in the best interests of my client and the best interests of justice and the best interests of the Marine Corps."

Casas said Jodka would testify at his court-martial and that sentencing was not expected until Nov. 15.

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