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Alleged “kill team” ringleader Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs pleads not guilty to all charges

Post by Adam Ashton / The News Tribune on Oct. 28, 2011 at 8:49 am |
October 28, 2011 12:11 pm
Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs

12:10 PM UPDATE: The jury panel that will weigh the Army’s case against alleged “kill team” ringleader Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs consists of three officers and two noncommissioned officers.

Gibbs’ trial is in recess until Monday, when attorneys are scheduled to make their opening arguments.

10:15 AM UPDATE: Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs pleaded not guilty to all of the 16 criminal charges the Army filed against him. Jury selection is underway.

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Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs’ court-martial could at Joint Base Lewis-McChord could run a full week with 28 soldiers and criminal investigators on a roster of expected witnesses.

Gibbs of Billings, Mont., is the alleged ringleader of a so-called Stryker “kill team” that murdered three Afghan civilians last year. He faces life in prison if he’s convicted on any of three killings.

The witness list includes three of the four soldiers who allegedly murdered Afghan civilians with him. They are Pvts. Jeremy Morlock and Adam Winfield and Spc. Michael Wagnon.

Morlock and Winfield have pleaded guilty to their crimes and agreed to testify against Gibbs. Wagnon is awaiting his court-martial in January and he contends he did not knowingly participate in a murder.

The other “kill team” codefendant, Pvt. Andrew Holmes, is not on the witness list even though he has pleaded guilty to shooting an Afghan teenager he knew was harmless. Holmes last month was sentenced to seven years in prison. He has identified Morlock as the “sociopath” who led talks in their platoon about killing noncombatants.

Today’s hearing likely will center on jury selection with opening arguments scheduled for Monday.

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