Sat, Sep 10, 2005 - Page 6 News List

Jury acquits second Army reservist of detainee abuse

AP , FORT BLISS, TEXAS

A military jury acquitted a second Army reservist in the beating of a detainee in Afghanistan who later died. Sergeant Darin Broady had been accused of aggravated assault, maltreatment and making a false official statement.

"I've never been through something so difficult in my life," Broady, a police officer in his civilian life, said after the Thursday hearing, wiping tears from his eyes.

During Thursday's trial, a witness who had testified in another trial earlier this week that Broady hit and kicked a detainee known as Habibullah, said she couldn't recall him hitting the detainee in the leg.

Sergeant Keri Patterson had testified on Tuesday that Broady and another soldier, Sergeant Christopher Greatorex, hit the prisoner in the leg in 2002 and that Broady also kicked him in the abdomen. She was testifying then in the trial of Greatorex, who was acquitted on Wednesday after defense attorneys argued that Patterson was mistaken.

In testimony on Thursday, Patterson said the only thing she remembered clearly was Greatorex using debilitating knee strikes on Habibullah and Broady kicking the shackled detainee.

"The only thing that stands out in my mind was the kick, sir," Patterson said when a defense attorney further questioned her about what she could recall. She was the only eyewitness in both cases.

Greatorex also testified on Thursday, telling the jury of four officers and four enlisted soldiers that he never saw Broady assault a detainee. Both Greatorex and Broady were members of the Cincinnati-based 377th Military Police Company.

No one has been charged with the detainee's death.

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