John Murtha’s big, fat mouth is still wreaking havoc on the lives of the Haditha Marines he defamed. But the Marines keep winning in court. Yesterday’s good news from the Thomas More Law Center, which has vigorously defended the accused Marines:
A government official has informed the Thomas More Law Center that the government will not seek to appeal the recent unanimous decision by the Navy Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals (NMCCA) in favor of LtCol Jeffrey Chessani, USMC.
The decision makes permanent the ruling by the trial court judge, Colonel Steven A. Folsom, USMC, dismissing the charges against LtCol Chessani, without prejudice, due to Unlawful Command Influence. The government could have sought an appeal to the civilian Court of Appeals of the Armed Forces (CAAF), and then to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Unfortunately, it’s not over for Chessani just yet:
The Marine Corps may be closer to giving up its troubled prosecution of Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani, the highest-ranking officer accused of wrongdoing after 24 Iraqi civilians were slain in the city of Haditha in 2005.
Chessani’s attorneys said Tuesday that they’ve been told the service won’t seek a third appeal of a ruling dismissing two counts of dereliction of duty against Chessani, who is accused of not ordering a full-scale investigation into the killings.
A Marine Corps spokesman, however, said a final decision on possible further appeal hasn’t been made. But the attorney for the appeal, Navy Lt. Timothy Delgado in Washington, confirmed a recommendation to drop the matter has been issued.
If that recommendation is followed, a final decision on whether the case gets dropped rests with Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Conway.
And if that happens, Chessani would become the seventh of eight Camp Pendleton Marines charged with crimes at Haditha to be fully exonerated.
“Our whole center is just waiting to see what the government now decides to do,” said Chessani attorney Brian Rooney of the Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. “We are very hopeful that the decision is to end the case so Col. Chessani can get on with his life.”