US soldier charged with abuse faces court-martial

A military judge on Monday dismissed one of the most serious charges against a US soldier charged with beating an Iraqi detainee with a baseball bat, then attempting to cover it up. Col. Stephen R. Henley dismissed a charge that Sgt. 1st Class Timothy L. Drake caused "grievous bodily injury" when he hit a detainee in the head with a baseball bat. Drake, 40, remains accused of striking the detainee in December 2003 at Forward Operating Base Mercury near Fallujah. He allegedly hit the detainee in the abdomen, hip and head with a baseball bat. However, Drake's civilian defense attorney, Michael Waddington, argued there was no evidence that the blow fractured the detainee's skull as the government had alleged.