Alleged "kill team" leader takes stand in his own defense

Nov 4, 2011

JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. – The alleged ringleader of the so-called Army “kill team” war crimes case took the stand in his own defense Friday at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs is charged with murdering three civilians while deployed in Afghanistan last year. Correspondent Austin Jenkins says under defense questioning Gibbs justified his killing of one of the victims.

Austin Jenkins: "The prosecution alleges Sgt. Calvin Gibbs shot an unarmed Afghan civilian and then dropped an AK-47 rifle at the man's feet to make it look like he had been armed. On the stand, Calvin Gibbs denied this. He said that he'd come around a corner, he'd been fired upon and returned fire. Asked by his defense attorney if he had any regrets about that incident, he said, 'As for killing that man, he needed to die.' He said his only regret was that after the killing, he cut off the man's trigger finger in anger."

This afternoon, Gibbs continued to answer questions for the defense aimed at refuting previous prosecution witnesses. The court martial will continue next week with more defense witnesses.

Copyright 2011 Northwest News Network