California A military judge on Friday refused to dismiss charges against a Marine who led a squad that killed 24 Iraqi men, women and children in the town of Haditha after a bomb killed a Marine.
The ruling cleared the way for a court-martial for Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, the only remaining defendant in the biggest criminal case against U.S. troops to arise from the Iraq war.
Marine Lt. Col. David Jones said attorneys for Wuterich failed to show that two generals who oversaw the case were influenced by a top aide who was disqualified under military policy from giving advice because he had investigated the killings on a previous assignment.
Wuterich, seated in uniform, showed no emotion when the judge denied the motion by his attorneys.
He later told reporters he was disappointed and upset by the ruling but looked forward to a jury trial.