Nova Scotia

Retrial resumes for ex-soldier in shooting death

A court martial resumes Thursday for Matthew Wilcox, a former Canadian soldier charged in the shooting death of his friend and comrade in Afghanistan in 2007.

A court martial resumes Thursday for Matthew Wilcox, a former Canadian soldier charged in the shooting death of his friend and comrade in Afghanistan in 2007.

Wilcox has pleaded not guilty to charges of criminal negligence causing death and negligent performance of a military duty in the death of Cpl. Kevin Megeney, a fellow reservist from Nova Scotia.

Megeney, 27, died after he was shot inside the tent he shared with Wilcox at Kandahar Airfield.

This is the second court martial for Wilcox. It's being held in Halifax.

In 2009, the Glace Bay man was convicted of criminal negligence causing death and negligent performance of duty. He was sentenced to four years in prison and dismissed from the military.

But the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada set aside that verdict last year after Wilcox's lawyers argued the military judge did not replace an alternate member of the jury who had to be excused because of work commitments.

Wilcox, who was 24 at the time of the shooting, refuted testimony by one of his friends that he and 25-year-old Megeny had been playing a game of "quick draw" when Megeney was shot.

During his first trial, Wilcox claimed he heard a gun being cocked when he was in his tent and said he fired in self-defence.

The sentencing judge said he was satisfied Megeny's death was the result of two soldiers engaged in "horseplay with guns."

This court martial, which began in May, but was quickly adjourned due to scheduling conflicts. This time it's before a judge alone.

Wilcox was facing an additional charge of manslaughter, but the military judge dismissed it, saying he does not have the jurisdiction to proceed with that charge.

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