Marine jailed for not testifying

A Marine combat veteran from Iraq has been jailed after refusing to testify against his former squad leader before a federal grand jury.

Although granted immunity, Sgt. Jermaine A. Nelson, 26, refused to testify against former Marine Sgt. Jose Luis Nazario in a case involving the alleged killing of prisoners during the battle for Fallouja in late 2004. Nelson's lawyer, Joseph Low, said Friday that his client will not testify against Nazario because Nazario saved his life numerous times.

U.S. District Court Judge Percy Anderson declared Nelson in contempt of court Wednesday. Both Nelson and Nazario have been charged with killing prisoners rather than taking the time to process them according to rules.

Court documents allege the Marines killed the prisoners after getting a desperate call for help from other Marines pinned down in a firefight.

Nazario is charged in federal court in Riverside, Nelson in the military system at Camp Pendleton. Low said Anderson has set a hearing for next week to see if several days behind bars have changed Nelson's mind about testifying.

-- Tony Perry

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