Additional Marines charged for desecretion of Taliban bodies
Additional Marines, including one based at Camp Lejeune, are charged for allegedly urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, and then posing for photos and video with the corpses.
Sergeant Robert W. Richards, of Camp Lejeune, was charged with dereliction of duty, violation of a lawful general order, and conduct prejudicial to the good order and discipline of the armed forces.
Captain James V. Clement, based in Quantico, Va., was charged with dereliction of duty, violation of a lawful general order, and conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman for failing to properly supervise junior Marines, failing to stop the misconduct of junior Marines, and failing to report misconduct. Clement was also charged with making false statements to a Naval Criminal Investigative Service investigator.
According to the Marine Corps, Richards and Clement, along with several other Marines, urinated on the bodies of insurgents in late July, 2011, while serving in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
Article 32 hearings will be held to look into the facts and circumstances in the case, Marine Corps officials said.
On Jan. 16, Staff Sgt. Edward W. Deptola, of Camp Lejeune, was sentenced to a reduction in rank by one grade to E-5, after pleading guilty to his involvement in the case.
The judge had wanted to reduce Deptola's rank to E-1, confine him for six months, have him pay a $5,000 fine and get him a bad conduct discharge. But because of a pretrial agreement, those punishments were tossed.
During Deptola's hearing, he testified that he and his fellow Marines were being chased by Taliban fighters. Deptola said after the shootout with the enemy, he took a gun off of a dead insurgent, then shot it.
Depota also testified that he and his fellow Marines later brought the dead bodies together and took pictures, before urinating on the corpses and recording the incident on camera. About 30 minutes later, they moved the bodies to the top of a tank and snapped more photos.
According to investigators, there were 12 videos and eight pictures in all.
In December, another Camp Lejeune Marine, Sergeant Joseph Chamblin, also faced court-martial for the desecration incident. He was sentenced to a reduction in rank by one grade and a forfeiture of $500 in pay.
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