By: AP
By: AP

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. (AP) - A hearing for the first
of five soldiers accused of deliberately killing Afghan civilians
this year has begun with more than a dozen witnesses asserting
their right to remain silent - including the lieutenant who headed
their platoon.

Cpl. Jeremy Morlock of Wasilla, Alaska, faces charges including
premeditated murder in the deaths of three civilians.

Army prosecutors are relying heavily on statements Morlock made in which he described the plot as an effort to murder the civilians for

The hearing will determine whether Morlock's case proceeds to a
court martial.

Thirteen witnesses asserted their right to remain silent, including other defendants and 1st Lt. Roman G. Ligsay, who was removed leadership of the platoon but isn't charged.

Morlock's attorney insists his statements are unreliable because they were made under the influence of prescription drugs.

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