Skip to comments.Marine spared prison time in death of Iraqi man (Cpl. Trent Thomas, bad conduct discharge)
Posted on 07/20/2007 10:08:27 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
A military jury on Friday spared a Marine of prison time for kidnapping and conspiring to murder an Iraqi man who was killed as troops hunted in vain for a suspected insurgent.
Cpl. Trent Thomas was sentenced to a bad-conduct discharge and reduced pay.
A military jury of three officers and six enlisted Marines deliberated for less than an hour before returning their decision.
Thomas, a 25-year-old father of two, faced a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole. He was convicted Wednesday of kidnapping and conspiracy to murder an Iraqi man after a botched attempt to capture a suspected insurgent in the village of Hamdania in April 2006.
Thomas was acquitted of the most serious charge of premeditated murder, which would have carried a mandatory life sentence, and of lesser offenses including making a false official statement, housebreaking and larceny.
Prosecutors had recommended Thomas be sentenced to 15 years in prison with a dishonorable discharge, reduction in pay and forfeiture.
Bad-conduct discharge, reduced pay
The punishment doesn’t fit the crime. If he’s guilty (and he was convicted) he should have gotten a stiffer sentence. If he wasn’t guilty, he shouldn’t have been convicted.
The fog of war.
A couple thoughts.
Thomas was held in a brig (including an improvised brig that was a toilet-less conex box out in the sun) for more than a year. So he wasn’t spared prison time by the Marine authorities.
Rob Pennington copped a plea and is serving eight years in prison at Miramar. Lesson learned: Playing ball gets you screwed.
His wife testified in mitigation at the sentencing portion of the trial IIRC. Her tears and other testimony got the reduced sentence.
Never having run afoul of the UCMJ I'm a bit confused.If he's being discharged why would his reduction in "pay" (which I assume means a reduction in rank) matter?
If you were on the jury and the prosecution couldn’t even tell you who the victim was and how he died, what would you have done?
Screwed up case, screwed up verdict.
I’m relieved he didn’t receive more jail time, he’s served enough, IMO. I know he pleaded to stay in the Corps and I would have liked to have seen that but the panel really didn’t have much choice.
Thanks for the ping, Red.
Wonder what happens to Congress-critters who double-cross their benefactors.
BTW, I see this guy's penalty being further reduced a couple of years down the road ~ and maybe even the penalty for the other guys who plea bargained.
Would be nice if they identified the victims first in future cases. Nothing more embarrassing than to end up with the wrong body as you enter the sentencing phase.
Not a perfect outcome of a bad trial but I am glad that the hero Marine did not go to jail.
I for one, Thank God that you weren’t on the jury.
How do you feel about Border Patrol agents?
I can think of a few things I’d like to see happen to Murtha but I won’t print them. If he is not forced out of office before the next election I have a hunch this might force him to not run again.
I couldn’t agree more with you on the other items. This whole thing was handled so shabby by the NCIS that no charges should have been brought and the NCIS should be the subject of a full Congressional investigation.
Bump that, jv!
You know, the people I’m really mad at are the ones who hopped up and down when it was revealed that the Pendleton 8 were shackled and treated worse than inmates at Gitmo.
Then it was announced that one of the eight had taken a plea deal. 99% of that support disappeared over night. The likes of Hannity and Michelle Malkin never mentioned the case again.
Well, what did those people expect? What did they think the purpose of shackles and conex boxes were if not to get the weakest link to crack and take a plea so that prosecutors could roll it up from there?
The fickle nature of Pendleton 8 “supporters” was disgusting to witness.
They should have been fired for obstruction of justice, but not prosecuted for shooting the fleeing felon.