Former soldier pleads not guilty to six charges including manslaughter
Published Monday, January 28, 2013 8:53AM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 29, 2013 5:16PM CST
Paul Ravensdale, a retired warrant officer, pleaded not guilty to multiple charges Monday at a court martial in Shilo.
The charges are for a training accident in February 2010 that killed Cpl. Joshua Baker and injured four other soldiers in Afghanistan.
Ravensdale is accused of manslaughter, unlawfully causing bodily harm, two counts of breach of duty and two counts of negligence. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Cpl. Baker was hit in the chest with a C-19 Claymore explosive.
The anti-personnel mine was loaded with steel balls. Something went wrong on the day in question, and many of the balls shot backward, piercing the bodies of the soldiers.
Prosecutor Maj. Tony Tamburro said the incident “was entirely foreseeable and entirely preventable.”
The prosecution is set to call 22 witnesses. The first, Christoper Lunney, said Ravensdale seemed “very capable” and the range exercise was “his opportunity to put his mark on the platoon.”
When the prosecution asked Lunney if anything prevented Ravensdale from asking soldiers to take cover in the trucks while the weapon was being fired, he said no.
Lunney previously pleaded guilty for his role and was demoted to captain from major following the range accident.
Maj. Darryl Watts is also awaiting sentencing on charges of negligence and unlawfully causing bodily harm.
The court martial case for Ravensdale is set to continue for three weeks.
- with files from The Canadian Press