Haditha-Forensic Evidence-The Truth will exonerate My Son

by Darryl Sharratt

Our son, L/Cpl Justin Sharratt is not a murderer. The media refuses to report the truth about what happened in Haditha on 19 November 2005. The media has blatantly ignored the truth as to what happened in House 4 where 4 Iraqi men were killed. Our son followed his ROE, used his Marine Corps training and survived a firefight when he used lethal force in House 4.

Detailed and scientific testimony by two government witnesses, Lt. Col Elizabeth Rouse and NCIS Agent Mark Maloney, showed the forensic evidence disproves all accounts of murder in House 4. The Lt. Col testified that her forensic evidence and pathology investigation shows that the shots fired by Marines in House 4 were not at close range. The shots were fired from a distance exceeding 24 inches, 2 feet to infinity. This disproves the Iraqi fairy tale that the Marines herded the 4 Iraqi men into a room and executed them. The Iraqi relatives fabricated this story to illicit Solatia payments (blood money) for the deaths of their kin.

NCIS Agent Mark Maloney provided a total and truthful forensic reconstruction of the events in House 4 where the 4 Iraqi insurgents were killed. Agent Maloney's statement that the Marines' testimony about the events in House 4 was "not entirely truthful, nor entirely false" formed the basis of Agent Nyada Mannle's charge sheet. Agent Mannle believed the coerced testimony of the Iraqi conspirators rather than the testimony of my son, Justin Sharratt and SSgt Wuterich.

NCIS Agent Mark Maloney presented forensic evidence that showed L/Cpl Sharratt shot the first two insurgents while reacting to a hostile threat. The first insurgent was killed when he pointed an AK47 at Justin in the doorway of the bedroom. When his fully automatic SAW jammed, Justin shot the first insurgent with a 9mm service pistol. Blood stain patterns and the position of the Iraqi showed he was not executed, but died from a head wound while attempting to fire at Justin.

This evidence verified L/Cpl Justin Sharratt's account of this first encounter. The second insurgent was shot after he raked his AK 47 for firing and pointed the weapon at L/Cpl Sharratt. Justin fired his 9mm at the Iraqi, striking him in the cheek, possibly the abdomen and middle finger of his left hand. The forensic evidence verified this second encounter but was weak in the detection of the abdomen penetration. The pictures of the dead insurgent verified the head wound and finger wound but was not positive for a shot in the abdomen. Defense attorneys argued that the pool of blood located around the insurgent's chest cavity was evidence of a wound typical to an upper abdomen penetration.

Niether Rouse nor Maloney could rule out this explanation but confirmation was not positive. The death of the third insurgent was the fog in the House 4 encounter. Agent Maloney testified that blood stain patterns showed the man died in a corner of the bedroom next to a closet(amoire).

Agent Maloney theorized the man was crouching in the corner when he was shot. Defense attorney Gary Meyers cleared the fog by explaining the order of events. Attorney Meyers and Agent Maloney agreed the bedroom was "rather" dark because the window curtains were closed. Gary Meyers stated that the third Iraqi was moving across Justin's line of sight while trying to retrieve a 3rd AK 47 which was hidden in the closet( amoire.) Prior testimony by the Iraqi patriach of the household provided details that he had hidden the AK 47 in the closet(amoire). A 3rd AK 47. As the third insurgent moved toward the hidden AK, L/Cpl Justin Sharrat fired 4 shots at the man. His first shot missed and penetrated the closed curtains where they overlapped in the middle and exited through the window.

NCIS Agent Mark Maloney agreed they had laser line bullet trajectory evidence tracking this first shot. NCIS had 3 points of contact to verify the path of the bullet. A second 9mm bullet missed the moving insurgent and lodged in the wall. This bullet was recovered and laser line evidence verified it was fired by Justin from his static position. The third round fired from Justin's 9 mm struck the open closet door , where the insurgent was trying to get to the 3rd AK 47. The bullet penetrated the door, inside to outside, and struck the third insurgent in the abdomen. With the closet door(amoire) fully opened, a fourth bullet struck the insurgent in the head as he slumped into the corner.

NCIS Agent Mark Maloney verified the third and fourth bullet trajectories. Agent Maloney testified his major concern in the investigation was the penetration of the closet door from inside to outside, entry and exit path. He agreed that the defense explanation of the third bullet matched a laser line path. In his sworn testimony, Agent Maloney said the pattern of events presented by the defense fully explained the encounter in the bedroom. Agent Maloney's forensic reconstruction fully
supported this chain of events.

Although the fourth insurgent was not a factor in the Sharratt case, Attorney Meyers followed through with his cross. While L/Cpl Sharratt was firing at the third insurgent, a fourth man was also trying to get to the closet. With his 9mm empty, Sharratt yelled "I'm out" and ducked behind the doorway to try to clear his SAW. SSGt Wuterich assumed Justin’s firing position and fired two rounds at the fourth insurgent while he was in the closet trying to retrieve the 3rd AK 47. Attorney Gary Meyers' rendition of the House 4 events was concise and specific. NCIS Agent Mark Maloney testified the forensic reconstruction verified this conclusion to be the most probable, likely and supportable scenario. Agent Maloney's only caveat to the testimony was that his forensic reconstruction came some four months after the event and could not be exact. Everyone in the courtroom knew the defense had presented the most accurate reconstruction as to the events in House 4. The prosecution knew it too, they had no re-direct.

This forensic evidence shows that my son, Justin Sharratt and SSgt Frank Wuterich were truthful in their account of what happened in House 4. It proves they followed the ROE, used their military training and survived a life and death encounter with four insurgents.

May God bless our Marines and keep them safe

Darryl Sharratt

Talk Show America 6/19/2007

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