Clemency frees Shore
The 26-year-old Schofield Barracks soldier who was convicted in February of felony assault in the death of an unarmed Iraqi man was set free yesterday after being granted clemency by Army officials.
In one of his last acts as acting commanding general of the 25th Infantry Division, Brig. Gen. J. Michael Bednarek reduced the conviction of Christopher Shore, of Winder Ga., from aggravated assault to assault, a misdemeanor, and allowed him to retain his old rank as specialist. Shore had been reduced by two ranks to private.
Bednarek's actions also erases Shore's felony record. Shore's prison sentence was reduced by Bednarek from 120 days to 72 days, or the equivalent of the time he has already served.
"We're just relieved," said Shore's lawyer, Michael Waddington. "I called his dad and told him. He was relieved this is finally done with. I think we're all pretty excited about it."
He said Shore plans to stay in the Army.
Shore has been imprisoned in the Ford Island brig since Feb. 20 after being convicted by a court-martial of aggravated assault in the killing of an Iraqi detainee last June in Kirkuk.
He testified that his platoon sergeant, Sgt. 1st Class Trey Corrales, ordered him to shoot the wounded man to "finish him," but Shore said he intentionally missed.
Corrales, of San Antonio, was acquitted of all charges, including murder, in a separate court-martial last month.
Corrales, 35, admitted shooting the man after his platoon burst into the house. But he argued the killing fell within the rules of engagement governing the use of deadly force. The 14-year Army veteran has said he was going to be promoted to master sergeant and planned to deploy with his 3rd Brigade Combat Team to Iraq in October.
Shore was released from the Ford Island brig on May 1 while Bednarek reviewed the request for clemency from Waddington.
Bednarek turns over command of the 6,000-member 25th Infantry Division today to Maj. Gen. Robert Caslen. He will become the commanding general for 1st Army Division East in Fort Mead, Md.
The Army Court of Criminal Appeals has said 16 soldiers have been charged with murder in the killings of Iraqi citizens. Three of them have received life sentences, while eight of the 16 were convicted of a lesser charge.
Both Corrales and Shore were assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company's elite scout platoon, 2nd Battalion, 25th Infantry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, and were in Iraq for 15 months before returning in October.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.