A Marine pleaded guilty to conspiracy and kidnapping in the slaying of an Iraqi man who was dragged from his home last April and shot, but he denied murdering the victim, a charge prosecutors will dismiss if he testifies for the government.
Lance Cpl. Robert Pennington, 22, told a court-martial Tuesday that he knew the kidnapping was wrong, but he participated because he and his fellow Marines were tired of suspected insurgents escaping the justice system.
Pennington, of Mukilteo, Washington, entered the guilty pleas under an agreement with prosecutors, who planned to dismiss charges of murder, larceny and housebreaking if Pennington testifies against his co-defendants.
Pennington, the squad's radio operator, and seven others are accused of abducting Hashim Ibrahim Awad from his home in Hamdania last April. Investigators believe they tried to cover up the killing by planting an AK-47 and a shovel by Awad's body to make it look like he was an insurgent planting a bomb.