FORT BLISS, Texas – A military jury acquitted a second Army reservist Thursday in the beating of a detainee in Afghanistan (search) who later died.
Sgt. Darin Broady (search), of Jeffersonville, Ind., had been accused of aggravated assault, maltreatment and making a false official statement.
"I've never been though something so difficult in my life," Broady, a police officer in his civilian life, said after the 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.
Sgt. Keri Patterson had testified on Tuesday that Broady and another soldier, Sgt. Christopher W. 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 Wednesday after defense attorneys argued that Patterson was mistaken.
In testimony 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 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.