A military jury has found a veteran Green Beret not guilty of premeditated murder and mutilation in the death of an Afghan man.

Army Special Forces Master Sgt. Joseph Newell of Tecumseh, Mich., was charged in the March 2008 shooting in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province.

The 10-member jury began deliberating Wednesday after hearing nearly two hours of closing arguments.

Newell testified this week he shot the unidentified man twice with his rifle after the man lunged at him during questioning. Newell said he had stopped the suspected Taliban insurgent's vehicle after it appeared he was watching the convoy and communicating with other Taliban.

Newell had faced a life sentence.