CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (AP) A military jury acquitted a Marine intelligence officer Wednesday of charges that he tried to help cover up the killings of 24 Iraqis, including women and children.
Cheers erupted as the seven-officer panel cleared 1st Lt. Andrew Grayson, who was the first of three Marines to be tried in the biggest U.S. criminal case involving Iraqi deaths linked to the war.
The judge, Maj. Brian E. Kasprzyk, admonished those in court, telling them, "There will be no more of that."
The verdict came just five hours after deliberations began.
Grayson, who has always maintained he did nothing wrong, was not at the scene of the killings on Nov. 19, 2005, in Haditha. He was accused of telling a sergeant to delete photographs of the dead from a digital camera and laptop computer.
Grayson was acquitted of two counts of making false official statements, two counts of trying to fraudulently separate from service, and one count of attempt to deceive by making false statements.