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Indiana Solider Faces Military Trial

Last updated on Thursday, December 13, 2007

(CAMP PENDLETON, CALIF.) - A military jury will hear closing arguments today in the murder trial of a marine reservist from Indiana accused of killing an Iraqi soldier during a struggle over a lit cigarette last December.

Prosecutors say 22-year-old Lance Corporal Delano Holmes stabbed the Iraqi to death while they were on guard together in Fallujah. The killing took place after the Iraqi soldier allegedly opened his cell phone and then lit a cigarette.

The defense attorney says the men weren't supposed to have lit objects at night because of sniper fire. A fight broke out and Holmes' lawyer claims his client stabbed the Iraqi in self-defense when he felt him reaching for his gun.

Prosecutors say Holmes killed the Iraqi man, then staged the scene.

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