Source AP ©

Father defends soldier charged with premeditated murder of Iraqi civilian

The father of a soldier charged with premeditated murder in the death of an Iraqi man said his son is innocent and is a "true soldier" who was following orders.

Sgt. 1st Class Trey A. Corrales and Spc. Christopher P. Shore were charged with one count of murder in the death, which allegedly occurred June 23 near the northern city of Kirkuk, the U.S. military announced Thursday in Iraq.

Albert Corrales Sr., a retired sheriff's deputy in Texas and a Korean War veteran, said he had not talked to his 34-year-old son about the death. But he said his daughter-in-law told him the soldier was just doing his job.

"I don't know what to think," Corrales told the San Antonio Express-News. "He shouldn't be found guilty, because he was following orders."

Corrales said he was told his son was in a firefight with insurgents.

"I think that it's wrong because the people he supposedly shot, they were terrorists and he was under orders to clean them out, and he did," he said. "And after he did, he was charged."

Shore's mother, Debra Kessler, declined to comment on Thursday to The Athens (Georgia) Banner-Herald, but said she might speak later.

Corrales and Shore are assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, which is part of the 25th Infantry Division based in Hawaii. The unit is attached to Multinational Division - North.

The battalion commander, Lt. Col. Michael Browder, was fired for leadership failure but is not a suspect and has not been charged with any offense, the military said.

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