FORT KNOX, Ky. – A judge set a July court martial date Tuesday for an Army sergeant charged in a grenade attack in Kuwait that killed two fellow officers a day before they were to move into Iraq.
Akbar's civilian attorney had asked for a trial date in the fall so there defense table during most of the hearing. He only glanced up to answer occasional questions from Trimble -- mostly to say "yes, sir." His mother sat quietly nearby.
He is charged with murder and attempted murder for the attack on a group of fellow 101st Airborne Division soldiers and others last March during the early days of the Iraq war. Prosecutors allege that he stole seven grenades from a Humvee he was guarding.
An attorney for Akbar said last year that no eyewitnesses placed the soldier at the scene, and that other soldiers only assumed that he committed the crime because he is Muslim.
The Army has said his court-martial marks the first time since the Vietnam War (search) that a U.S. Army soldier has been prosecuted for the murder or attempted murder of another soldier during wartime.