CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — Military prosecutors say a sergeant saw the charred remains of a fellow Marine killed by a roadside bomb only moments before he instructed his squad to "shoot first, ask questions later" in what has become one of the Iraq war's most horrific episodes of civilian deaths.
Both the prosecution and defense agree the explosion that killed Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas in the Iraqi town of Haditha on Nov. 19, 2005, influenced Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich's decisions that day.
The debate during the case's trial this month is over whether Wuterich reacted appropriately, or if he led his men on a vengeful rampage. In the end, 24 Iraqis were killed.
At least one of Wuterich's squad members is expected to testify for the prosecution Tuesday. It's the second day witnesses will take the stand before an all-Marine jury at Camp Pendleton.