Marine Charged In Iraq Murders Wanted Leeway To Kill

Tuesday, July 17th 2007, 8:05 am

By: News On 6

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (AP) -- An Oklahoma Marine charged with murder in the deaths of Iraqi civilians reportedly said he wished the troops had more leeway to shoot.
The testimony came Tuesday during a preliminary hearing at Camp Pendleton, California, for Lance Corporal Stephen Tatum of Edmond.

Sergeant Sanick Dela Cruz said Tatum poked fun at a squadmate who asked for permission before shooting.

Dela Cruz says Tatum said he thought war should be fought the way it was fought in Biblical scriptures by killing every living thing.

Dela Cruz testified with a grant of immunity and said Tatum made the comments while they were on patrol in January 2006.

Tatum's attorney has said Tatum believed he was following procedure by confronting a threat with deadly force.

The hearing will determine whether Tatum will be tried for murder.

He's among Marines charged with killing 24 Iraqi civilians after a roadside bomb killed another Marine and injured two others in November 2005.

Related Stories:

12/21/2006 Motive A Major Factor In Case Against Marines

4/20/2007 Military Grants Immunity To Marine In Iraq Killings

5/7/2007 Hearing Set For Marine Officer Charged In Investigation Of Killings

6/1/2007 General Has Doubts About How Colonel Reported Deaths

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