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Published: Friday, 8/15/2008

Tecumseh Green Beret s hearing ends in Afghan slaying case


FORT BRAGG, N.C. The attorney for a Green Beret accused of killing an Afghan civilian and cutting off his ear says evidence in the case is weak and his client was the victim of bad blood among members of his Special Forces team.

Defense attorney Todd Conormon said Friday in closing arguments that testimony and physical evidence don t support a murder charge against Master Sgt. Joseph D. Newell. Newell was detained after team members reported the March 5 incident.

Military prosecutors said the evidence is enough to send the case to a court-martial.

A hearing officer isn t expected to make a recommendation for several weeks.

Newell s Article 32 hearing began Tuesday and included testimony from 17 witnesses. The 38-year-old from Tecumseh, Mich., has served in the military for 20 years.

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