Jury deliberates in military trial
Major Darryl Watts
Published Monday, December 3, 2012 11:50AM MST
Last Updated Monday, December 3, 2012 11:54AM MST
A Calgary reservist accused of manslaughter in the death of another soldier on a training field in Afghanistan could learn his fate on Monday.
Major Darryl Watts, 44, is facing a court martial on charges that include manslaughter, unlawfully causing bodily harm, breach of duty and negligent performance of duty.
The five-member jury panel received a charge from the military judge, Cmdr. Peter Lamont, on Saturday but only deliberated for about 90 minutes.
The jury adjourned without reaching a verdict and continued deliberations on Monday.
Cpl. Josh Baker died and four other soldiers were injured when a Claymore anti-personnel mine, packed with 700 steel balls, peppered their platoon on a training range near Kandahar city in February 2010.
The Crown argued that Watts, who was the platoon commander, turned a blind eye to safety standards and abdicated his duty as a leader during the exercise.
The defence countered that Watts had no training on the Claymore, so he handed over responsibility for safety to his second-in-command, who was an expert on the weapon.
The platoon, stationed at Camp Nathan Smith in Kandahar city, usually visited the Kan Kala firing range about once a month.
In his charge to the jury Cmdr. Lamont warned not to go beyond deciding the guilt or innocence of the accused.
"Punishment has no place in your discussion or in your decision," said Lamont.
"It is my job -- not yours -- to decide what kind of punishment is appropriate."
Lamont told the jury to use their "common sense and experience" to reach a verdict.
(With files from ctvnews.ca and The Canadian Press)