Testimony: Marine made jokes with slain Iraqi's body
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - A Marine lance corporal cracked jokes and lifted the lifeless hand of an Iraqi civilian whom his squad had just shot, slapping it across the dead man's face, a sailor testified Thursday.
The government called Seaman Recruit Melson J. Bacos of Franklin, Wis., as a witness in the sentencing hearing for Lance Cpl. Robert Pennington, who pleaded guilty Tuesday to kidnapping and conspiracy.
The men were part of an eight-member squad accused of kidnapping and murdering Hashim Ibrahim Awad last April in the Iraqi town of Hamdania.
"When he was helping put the dead body in the body bag, I saw him play with one of his arms," Bacos testified. "He took his hand and ... made Mr. Awad hit himself."
Bacos testified that Pennington said to the dead man, "Quit hitting yourself."