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thedrifter
11-15-07, 08:37 AM
Haditha hearing judge may step down

By: North County Times

CAMP PENDLETON -- A Marine lieutenant colonel will announce this morning if he will step down as the presiding officer of a hearing for a first lieutenant facing criminal charges for actions in the killings of two dozen civilians in Iraq.

Lt. Col. Tracy Daly was asked to recuse himself from the role of investigating officer in the Article 32 hearing for 1st Lt. Andrew Grayson after it was learned he has a personal friendship with an Army major described as a key government witness.

Article 32 hearings are conducted to help military authorities determine if charges should stand and a defendant be ordered to trial.


An announcement of Daly's decision was expected Wednesday but was rescheduled for this morning.

Grayson's attorneys want a new investigating officer appointed because of a possible bias stemming from Daly's friendship with the prosecution witness.

Daly indicated Tuesday that he was inclined to remove himself. If that happens, Grayson's hearing will have to be rescheduled and could be delayed for several weeks.

Grayson is one of four officers Marine prosecutors accused of failing to carry out their duties by not ordering a full-scale investigation into the slaying of 24 Iraqis in the city of Haditha on Nov. 19, 2005.

The 26-year-old Ohio native is the lowest ranking officer charged in the incident and is accused of dereliction of duty, making a false statement and obstruction of justice.

Ellie