An Edmond Marine
will go to trial next month on charges stemming from the death
of 24 Iraqi civilians in 2005, but television viewers won't
have to wait that long to learn more about the incident.
PBS' "Frontline” will
explore what happened in the village of Haditha on Nov. 19, 2005,
after a Marine was killed in an explosion caused by a roadside bomb.
The show, titled "Rules of Engagement,” airs at 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Lance Cpl. Stephen B.
Tatum, an Edmond native, is one of eight Marines to face charges in
the biggest U.S. criminal case involving civilian deaths in the
ongoing war in Iraq. Charges have been dismissed against four of
contends he did what he was trained to do.
Tatum, 26, originally
was charged with murder and negligent homicide for his role in the
killings, which occurred during a bloody door-to-door sweep after
A Marine general
reduced the charges in October, but he still faces court martial on
charges of involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and
aggravated assault. His trial is set for March 28 at Marine Corps
Base Camp Pendleton in California.
Tatum also has been
ordered to testify against his squad leader, who faces the most
serious charges in the case.
Lawyers for Tatum said
they received notice that their client is to appear at next month's
court-martial of Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, who faces nine counts of
voluntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment
and obstruction of justice.
The "Frontline” episode
airing this week promises to reveal the untold story of what
happened in Haditha, according to a news release.
It includes interviews
with Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt, one of the Marines originally
charged in the case, and an intelligence officer who watched the
events unfold, as well as perspective from Iraqi civilians who
survived the incident.
David Allender, who
runs DefendOurMarines.org, said he expects the show to offer a new
perspective on the killings, which have been portrayed as a massacre
by blood-thirsty Marines.