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Retired Colonel Faces Third Murder Trial

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WILMINGTON — A retired Army colonel starts the battle of his life in a North Carolina courtroom Monday.

Col. George Marecek is accused of murdering his wife nine years ago. His first trial ended in a hung jury in 1995.

In 1997, Marecek was convicted, and spent 18 months in prison. He was released in 1998 after he was granted an appeal.

On the eve of this third trial, the decorated Green Beret says he hopes to finally prove he's innocent.

"I don't think there are words to describe it," he says. "It was hell, painful."

Colonel George Marecek is talking about the drowning death of his wife, and the nine years of speculation and accusations that followed. He hopes a third murder trial will silence his accusers.

"Finally I think we have an opportunity to show that I was wrongfully accused of a thing I know I have not done," he says.

Prosecutors claim that Marecek, who was once named Fort Bragg's soldier of the year, struck his wife in the head before she drowned.

"In my profession, on the field of battle, I had the chance to study the enemy and know the enemy. Here I didn't know," he says.

Jury selection begins Monday.

Marecek was sentenced to 30 years after his 1997 conviction. He could face a similar sentence if he's convicted again.

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Stephanie Hawco, Reporter
Chad Flowers, Photographer
Kay Miller, Web Editor

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