FORT BLISS, Texas – An Army reservist was acquitted Wednesday of charges that he beat a detainee in Afghanistan (search).
Sgt. Christopher W. Greatorex (search) was accused of abusing a man named Habibullah, who died days after being detained by U.S. forces in December 2002. A military report said Habibullah died of a pulmonary embolism apparently caused by blood clots formed in his legs from beatings.
A military jury of two officers and an enlisted soldier voted for acquittal of Greatorex on charges of abuse, maltreatment and making false official statements. The trial of another soldier charged with beating the same detainee is to start Thursday.
Greatorex served with the Cincinnati-based 377th Military Police Company (search).
A witness, Army Sgt. Keri Patterson, testified Tuesday that she was positive she saw Greatorex and Sgt. Darin Broady repeatedly use knee strikes on Habibullah as he stood in an isolation cell with his hands chained to the ceiling.
Prosecutors said her testimony was all the jury needed to convict Greatorex, while defense attorneys said she was mistaking him for another soldier.
Broady's court-martial is scheduled next. Nine soldiers were charged with abusing Habibullah and another detainee at Bagram Airfield, and several have been convicted or pleaded guilty to abuse and other charges.
Charges were dropped against another Ohio reservist, who received a letter of reprimand.