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Jury returns lesser charges in soldier's slaying

Aug. 23, 2013 - 07:58AM   |  
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CLARKSVILLE, TENN. — A Circuit Court jury in Clarksville convicted a man of reckless homicide Thursday in the death of a fellow Green Beret last year.

Benjamin Schweitzer, 28, was found not guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Sgt. 1st Class Frederic Nicholas “Nic” Moses, 26, of the 5th Special Forces Group on March 15, 2012, but guilty of the lesser charge instead.

He also faced two counts of attempted first-degree murder involving two police officers who responded to the shooting. He was found not guilty of those counts but convicted of two lesser misdemeanor counts of reckless endangerment.

Schweitzer was still and silent and hung his head as the verdict was read Thursday afternoon, The Leaf-Chronicle said.

Moses’ family wept when the verdict was read, and as Schweitzer was led out, Moses’ father and a friend yelled at Schweitzer.

Judge John H. Gasaway sentenced Schweitzer to time served for the two reckless endangerment counts because he had jail credit of more than 520 days. He will be sentenced Oct. 29 for the reckless homicide conviction.

Assistant District Attorney Art Bieber said in closing Thursday the state proved that Schweitzer killed Moses knowingly and intentionally.

But defense lawyer Chase Smith said there was no motive or ill will proven and that what happened was not murder but homicide.

Schweitzer testified Wednesday that he was asleep, thought he heard an intruder and reacted when he saw a person approaching him. Schweitzer said he didn’t know it was Moses, who lived in the home.

Schweitzer was a guest in the home and said he had used a sedative that morning.

Moses was from St. Charles, Mo.

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