Lawyers defending a former Marine accused of killing Iraqi prisoners during the 2004 battle of Fallouja have lost a bid to get the voluntary manslaughter case thrown out of court.
Attorneys for Jose Luis Nazario asserted that the civilian criminal system lacks legal authority over acts committed in a war zone. But U.S. District Judge Stephen G. Larson ruled this week that the law "prevents discharge from the military from serving as a shield to prosecution for crimes committed while in military service."
Larson set a July 8 trial date for Nazario, who was a Riverside police officer when he was charged in the Fallouja case. Two active-duty Marines, Sgt. Jermaine A. Nelson and Sgt. Ryan Weemer, are also charged. Those cases will be handled in the military legal system.
-- Tony Perry