September 9, 2011 in Region

Army proceeding with plans to try soldier


TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — Army prosecutors are moving forward with plans to try a Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier accused in the killing of an Afghan civilian despite two reports from an Army investigator that were critical of the military’s case.

The News Tribune reports that 31-year-old Spc. Michael Wagnon of Las Vegas was in court Thursday for an arraignment.

Wagnon is accused of shooting at an Afghan noncombatant during a patrol in February 2010 to help another soldier cover up a murder. In all, five soldiers from the base south of Seattle have been charged in the deaths of three Afghan civilians.

Maj. Michael Liles has twice heard testimony and read evidence against Wagnon at pretrial hearings. He wrote reports after both hearings suggesting the Army had a weak case.

Wagnon has acknowledged that he shot in the direction of the Afghan, but has said he did so because he believed another soldier was under attack.

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