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Sniper Couldn't Get Counseling, His Lawyers Say

June 11, 1996|Reuters

FT. BRAGG, N.C. — Defense lawyers for William Kreutzer, an Army sergeant accused of opening fire on scores of soldiers during morning calisthenics, told jurors Monday that Kreutzer suffered from depression and was unable to get counseling from the Army before the shooting.

Kreutzer, 27, a member of a crack paratrooper unit who had been awarded the Army's Good Conduct Medal, is charged with murdering a fellow 82nd Airborne Division soldier, 38-year-old Maj. Stephen Badger, last October.

The defense, which has not disputed that Kreutzer was the sniper, rested its case after calling just three witnesses in the court-martial. Closing arguments in the case were scheduled to begin this morning.

Kreutzer also faces 18 counts of attempted murder, four of maiming and several weapon violations charges. He faces the death penalty if convicted.

The prosecution called 14 witnesses, including several soldiers injured in the attack who described the screaming, chaos and confusion on the exercise field filled with about 1,300 soldiers when shots rang out from a stand of pine trees Oct. 27.

Defense lawyers said Kreutzer was troubled and had sought help from the Army. He was treated for depression in 1994 while serving on the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt.

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