Sergeant Denies Giving Orders To Kill Detainees

Fort Campbell, KY (AP) -- A staff sergeant testified in his own defense during his murder trial Thursday that he gave no orders to his squad to kill three Iraqi detainees.

Staff Sergeant Ray Girouard said two soldiers in his squad released and shot the detainees during a May ninth raid near Samarra, Iraq. Girouard said in a snap decision he chose to help Specialist William Hunsaker and Private First Class Corey Clagett cover up the crime by staging an attack.

Girouard says he was looking out for the well being of his soldiers.

Twenty-four-year-old Girouard is accused of telling his soldiers to release the detainees they captured and then shoot them as they fled.

Copyright 2007 by the associated press. All rights reserved.

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