Green Beret: Team leader shot, mutilated man

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) -- A Green Beret says his team leader shot an Afghan man in the chest and later cut off his ear after discovering the man's cell phone had a photo of a weapon.

Staff Sgt. Ricky Derring testified at Fort Bragg on Tuesday in the military's case against Master Sgt. Joseph D. Newell.

Derring said his special forces team was escorting a convoy of supplies in Helmand province March 5 when they spotted two civilian cars. They went to investigate and detained the man with the cell phone. Derring said he didn't think the man was armed.

Derring said Newell asked the man through an interpreter whether he was Taliban or setting up bombs. Derring said the man answered no, and the interpreter said he believed the man. But Newell shot the man and left his body in the dessert, then returned later to cut off his ear.

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

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