Officer: US Sergeant Shouldn’t Face Court-Martial for Killing Afghan Doctor

Taylor Figured Doctor Was Probably an Insurgent

by Jason Ditz, August 03, 2012

Hearing Officer Lt. Col. Alva Hart found in favor of Sgt. Walter Taylor today, saying that he should not face a court-martial for killing a popular Afghan doctor during his most recent deployment.

Taylor faced charges of negligent homicide and dereliction of duty for opening fire on an Afghan doctor after she exited her vehicle near the troops. According to testimony there was “confusion” and someone had claimed her car was “hostile.”

Taylor defended the killing, saying that he believed the doctor was “a threat to me and my men” and that he figured she was an insurgent planning to detonate a hidden bomb.

Other soldiers testified that Taylor’s decision was apparently not reasonable, saying they saw no threat from the vehicle and that he fired on her within seconds of her leaving the car. Taylor’s lawyer accused critics of the killing of being “Monday-morning quarterbacks.”

The findings now go to a senior commander at Taylor’s home base in Bamberg, Germany, where they’re expected to play a substantial role in the decision on whether to drop the charges or proceed to a court-martial.

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