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Manslaughter charge tossed in man's court martial on shooting of friend in Afghanistan

Cpl. Matthew Wilcox of Glace Bay, N.S., is followed by family members at his court martial in Sydney, N.S. on June 23, 2009. The reservist faces charges in the shooting death of another Canadian soldier in Afghanistan.


A military judge dismissed a manslaughter charge today against a former soldier charged in the fatal shooting of a fellow reservist in Afghanistan.

In his ruling, Lt.-Col. Louis-Vincent d'Auteuil says the court does not have the jurisdiction to proceed with the charge against Matthew Wilcox of Glace Bay, N.S.

Mr. Wilcox is facing a second court martial in the 2007 shooting death of Cpl. Kevin Megeney of Stellarton, N.S., in the tent the two men shared at Kandahar Airfield.

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He has pleaded not guilty to charges of criminal negligence causing death and negligent performance of a military duty.

At his first trial in 2009, Mr. Wilcox was found guilty of criminal negligence and negligent performance, but the manslaughter charge against him was stayed by a military jury.

A second court martial was ordered after his lawyer successfully appealed Mr. Wilcox's conviction over the makeup of the military jury.

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