News Tribune military staff writer Adam Ashton reports:
An experienced military lawyer representing a Stryker soldier accused of committing war crimes in Afghanistan is quitting the case, his co-counsel said.
Former Army lawyer Michael Waddington is leaving Spc. Jeremy Morlock’s defense team. Civilian attorney Geoffrey Nathan and Army Capt. Mark Opachan are staying on the case, Nathan said.
Nathan declined to say why Waddington is leaving.
Morlock is one of five soldiers in the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division accused of murdering civilians during the brigade’s recent deployment to southern Afghanistan. Morlock faces a life sentence if he’s convicted at a court martial trial at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
At his pretrial hearing in September, Waddington questioned military witnesses while Nathan focused on Morlock’s mental health. Morlock suffered several concussions during his deployment.
Morlock is the only Stryker soldier accused of murder to be forwarded to a full court-martial thus far. Two of his co-defendants – Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs and Pfc. Andrew Holmes – have had pre-trial hearings and await action by commanding officers. Spc. Michael Wagnon is in court at Lewis-McChord today for his hearing. Spc. Adam Winfield will be the last of the alleged killers to go through pretrial proceedings.