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Published: Friday, 2/20/2009

Military judge allows more severed ear evidence in Tecumseh soldier's trial


FORT BRAGG, N.C. The military judge overseeing the trial of a Green Beret charged with killing an Afghan man and severing his ear will allow more evidence about the ear.

According to newspaper reports the judge initially agreed to exclude testimony about the ear being found in the room of Master Sgt. Joseph Newell. But the judge said Friday that Newell's defense attorney mentioned it during opening statements, so the evidence is fair game.

The discussion was done when jurors were not in the courtroom.

Prosecutors allege the Special Forces team sergeant fatally shot the Afghan man without cause on March 5. His defense attorney, Maj. Lance Daniels, said Newell was acting in self defense against an insurgent.

Newell, of Tecumseh, Mich., could face life in prison if convicted of murder.

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