WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD (KHNL) - A Hawaii based soldier has his first day in court. A preliminary investigation has begun on whether Spc. Christopher Shore should be brought up on charges of murdering a middle east man in Iraq.
While death and killings have becoming commonplace in the war in Iraq.
U.S. soldiers must follow rules of engagement when it comes to shooting to kill.
But during a raid in June by Hawaii based soldiers near Kirkuk, Specialist Christopher Shore is accused of killing when he didn't need to and has been charged with premeditated murder.
"In the charge that Spc. Shore is facing, the maximum penalty is death." says the US Army's Maj. Will Koon.
A military article 32 hearing is now investigating that murder charge.
The hearing is similar to a grand jury investigation but in this military procedure, the accused can be present and the defense can introduce evidence and witnesses. And instead of a judge deciding the outcome, an investigating officer makes a recommendation on whether a courtmartial should begin.
During the court's first day, soldiers, medics and the medical examiner gave testimony that an Iraqi man pulled from the raided house was gunned down.
But Shore's attorney says while his client fired shots at the man, this marksman didn't hit the Iraqi. And claims his leader, Sargent Trey Corrales, mortally wounded the man and then told shore to shoot.
"He was told to kill all men in the house but he used his training and composure to not kill everyone in the house. Because he could have easily done it." says Michael Waddington, Shore's attorney.
Shore's article 32 hearing continues Friday while Corrales' preliminary investigation begins Monday, October 22nd.