Calgary reservist pleads not guilty at court martial

A military prosecutor says a reservist is guilty of “wanton, reckless disregard” in the death of a Canadian Forces soldier in Afghanistan two years ago.

CALGARY — A military prosecutor says a reservist is guilty of “wanton, reckless disregard” in the death of a Canadian Forces soldier in Afghanistan two years ago.

Maj. Tony Tamburro told a military court Tuesday that Maj. Darryl Watts allowed his men to practise with a Claymore C19 anti-personnel mine without any proper training in February 2010 on a firing range four kilometres northeast of Kandahar city.

Cpl. Josh Baker, 24, died when the explosive Claymore, packed with 700 steel balls, raked a Canadian Forces platoon. He was struck four times and one of the steel balls penetrated his chest.

Four others were seriously wounded.

Watts, who was in charge of the range the day of the accident, is charged with manslaughter, unlawfully causing bodily harm, breach of duty and negligent performance of duty.

“We’re not alleging Maj. Watts woke up that morning and decided to kill or injure anyone,” said Tamburro, who is with the Office of the Judge Advocate General.

“When soldiers went to that range some soldiers had no training on the C19. This is not a case of soldiers being injured or killed in combat. This was not in a firefight.

“This was supposed to be another day on the range.”

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