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Army Sergeant Faces Court Martial In Mercy Killing Of Iraqi Teen

By Celina Avila
Published On: Sep 19 2011 06:38:43 AM CDT
Updated On: Sep 19 2011 11:10:01 AM CDT
FORT BLISS, Texas -

A U.S. Army sergeant accused of the mercy killing of an Iraqi teenager faces court martial at Fort Bliss.

On Monday, inside a Fort Bliss courtroom, the government presented its case against Staff Sgt. Andrew Sims, a nurse now assigned to Beaumont Army Medical Center. Like federal cases, no cameras were allowed in the military courtroom.

Sims is accused of giving a fatal dose of a lethal drug to an Iraqi teenager with third-degree burns to 70 percent of his body at the 10th Combat Support Hospital in 2006 in Iraq.

One witness, Sgt Candi Piper, a fellow nurse and Sims' former roommate, said she feared for her life because of, "All the euthanasia being performed in Iraq."

Sims' former fiancee, Stephanie Miller, testified that she recalls overhearing an emotional conversation in which Sims said, "He injected medication into an IV to speed up the process of death."

Sims' military and civilian attorney, Lenny Morales, adamantly denied those claims.

"Despite what anyone's recollection is -- ex-girlfriend or some other jilted lover, something along those lines -- there's not going to be any medical evidence to support these allegations," Morales said.

The court martial, with Col. David Robertson presiding, continues Tuesday.

In a court martial, there are nine jurors made up of senior Army personnel, from master sergeants through colonels. They're allowed to ask questions of the witnesses by submitting them in writing.

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