Article published Jul 2, 2007
Mother of accused local Marine is optimistic

WSBT Staff Report

The mother of a Marine with local ties says a ruling on whether her son will be court-martialed could come soon, but probably not this week, as is being reported.

Prosecutors say Penn High School graduate Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt and two other Marines executed at least two men during an alleged massacre of 24 Iraqis in 2005.

Theresa Sharratt says she believes forensic evidence presented at a military hearing last month clearly supports her son's testimony that the Iraqi men were armed when her son saw them, and the Iraqi men were not executed.

She says her family is now more optimistic than ever that he'll be cleared of all charges.

"We feel pretty good about it. The way the hearing ended, we felt a lot better," Theresa Sharratt said. "We're hoping and praying for an exoneration for Justin, but we'd understand if they still go to court-martial. And what we've been told is he'll most likely be exonerated there."

A general will decide whether the case goes to court-martial.

There is no official word yet on when that decision might come.