Soldier: Sergeant didn't OK Afghan killing

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JOINT BASE LEWIS McCHORD, Wash. (AP) -- A Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier convicted in the deaths of three Afghan civilians last year is backing away from an earlier statement that one of his superiors explicitly OK'd the first killing.

The News Tribune of Tacoma reports that Pvt. Jeremy Morlock testified Tuesday at a preliminary hearing for Staff Sgt. David Bram, who is one of six soldiers charged in connection with what prosecutors say was a plot to murder civilians for sport.

In a plea agreement early this year, Morlock said Bram "''communicated it was clear" to carry out the first killing in January 2010. But on the stand, Morlock said that while he assumed Bram approved of the killing, the two did not discuss it in advance.

Bram is charged with solicitation to commit premeditated murder, failing to report crimes, participating in discussions about murdering noncombatants, planting evidence near a corpse and assaulting a fellow soldier. He denies the charges.

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Information from: The News Tribune, http://www.thenewstribune.com