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Hearing canceled for soldier accused of murder in Iraq

HONOLULU - An Army sergeant accused of murdering an unarmed Iraqi civilian has waived his right to a pretrial investigation hearing, the Army says.

The session, known as an Article 32 hearing, for Sgt. 1st Class Trey Corrales had been set for Monday.

The cancellation means Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, commander of the 25th Infantry Division, will decide whether to refer the case to trial without the evidence the hearing, similar to a civilian grand jury, would have brought forth. Mixon will instead just refer to evidence gathered by investigators.

Both Corrales and Spc. Christopher Shore of Winder have been charged with premeditated murder, which carries a maximum penalty of death and a minimum of life in prison with the possibility of parole.

Prosecutors allege the two soldiers, members of the Hawaii-based division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team, killed the unidentified man when their platoon raided a house near Kirkuk in search of men they believed were planting roadside bombs.

Corrales, of San Antonio, is accused of shooting the man and then ordering Shore to shoot him, too.

Shore, 25, said at his Article 32 hearing Thursday that he fired his weapon but intentionally missed the civilian. He said he was afraid of openly disobeying Corrales' order.

Corrales' attorney, Frank J. Spinner, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.