Camp Pendleton: A military judge in California has denied a motion to dismiss charges against a Marine sergeant whose squad killed 24 Iraqi men, women and children after a bomb killed a Marine.
Lt Col David Jones ruled on Friday at Camp Pendleton on a defence motion claiming there was unlawful command influence while a general considered a court-martial for Staff Sgt Frank Wuterich.
The judge ruled there was no record of any "meaningful comment" between the general and an aide who had investigated the case as a military lawyer.
Wuterich is facing trial on reduced charges of voluntary manslaughter and other crimes in the November 2005 attack in the town of Haditha.
The 30-year-old Wuterich, of Meriden, Conn, is one of eight Marines originally charged with murder or failure to investigate the killings. Six have had charges dropped or dismissed, and one was acquitted.