Accused soldier seeks a deal for his testimony

Tacoma News TribuneNovember 25, 2010 

TACOMA, Wash. -- One of five Stryker soldiers accused of killing civilians in Afghanistan intends to waive a hearing he could have used to gather evidence for his defense and instead move on to a full court-martial, his attorney said Wednesday.

Spc. Adam Winfield was expected to appear in court Tuesday at Joint Base Lewis-McChord for a pre-trial hearing, as four of his codefendants have done since September.

One of those fellow soldiers, Spc. Michael Wagnon, saw his Article 32 hearing end Wednesday after he took the stand in his own defense and said “All I did was my job.”

Wagnon is accused of murdering a noncombatant, keeping a piece of a human skull taken from an Afghan corpse, trying to destroy evidence and shooting at unarmed Afghan farmers.

Winfield is accused of killing a civilian, shooting at the farmers and smoking hashish during his brigade’s deployment at Forward Operating Base Ramrod.

Eric Montalvo, Winfield’s attorney, said he is negotiating a plea deal that would call on Winfield to testify against his codefendants. Without that agreement, Winfield would refuse to take the witness stand.

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