Army investigator: Ear found in Green Beret's room

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) -- An Army criminal investigator says a human ear found in a Green Beret's room matched DNA found on the soldier's clothing, boots and knife.

Special Agent Aaron Van Tassel testified by telephone from Afghanistan on Wednesday during a hearing for 38-year-old Master Sgt. Joseph D. Newell at Fort Bragg. Newell is accused of shooting an Afghan man in the chest, disposing his body in the desert and cutting off the man's ear.

The Article 32 hearing will determine whether Newell is charged with murder.

Under cross examination, Tassel acknowledged that investigators didn't retrieve the body after the March 5 incident. He said Army commanders considered the area a war zone and too dangerous.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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