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Gregory Bull, Associated Press
Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, center, arrives for a court session at Camp Pendleton, flanked by his attorneys Neal Puckett, left, and Haytham Faraj, right, Friday, Jan. 20, 2012, in Camp Pendleton, Calif. Court was scheduled to reconvene Friday in a major Iraq war crimes case after a military judge's move fueled speculation that a plea deal was in the works for a soldier who led the killing of 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians.

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — The trial of a major Iraq war crimes case has resumed at the Marine Corp's Camp Pendleton in California after an unexplained interruption of nearly two days.

A former squad member has been called to testify Friday in the case against Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, whose court-martial was delayed at mid-week when the judge asked lawyers to explore options, fueling speculation that a plea deal was in the works.

In 2005, Wuterich led a squad that killed 24 Iraqis including women and children during assaults following a roadside bombing that killed a Marine in the town of Haditha. The original murder prosecution has been reduced to a manslaughter case.