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The Globe and Mail

Canadian officer pleads guilty in 2010 training-range death

Canadian Forces Major Christopher Lunney arrives with his wife Colleen for the start of hearings on the first day of his court martial in Gatineau, Quebec September 13, 2012.


A decorated military officer has pleaded guilty to negligent performance of duty over a 2010 training incident that killed a reservist and injured four others in Afghanistan.

Maj. Christopher Lunney had to pause to compose himself several times as he told a court martial of his shock and remorse over the incident that took the life of Cpl. Josh Baker.

Maj. Lunney says he's well acquainted with the loss experienced by families of serving men and women in the Canadian Forces, and that no words of regret or apology can address their pain.

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Cpl. Baker died and four others were wounded on a training range northeast of Kandahar in February 2010 after detonating an explosive device commonly referred to as a claymore.

An agreed statement of facts at the court martial said Maj. Lunney failed to ensure the officer in charge of the training session was properly qualified for the job.

A joint sentencing submission recommended a severe reprimand and demotion to the rank of captain, considering what the military prosecutor described as the honour and integrity shown by Maj. Lunney in the wake of the incident.

Four other charges against Maj. Lunney were dropped.

Two other soldiers still face courts martial on charges of manslaughter in relation to Cpl. Baker's death.

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