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Soldier may face court martial

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. -- A US soldier could be court-martialed for taking a sheik's truck at gunpoint in Iraq after his platoon's Humvee broke down, authorities said.

The military completed a hearing Wednesday in the case against Sergeant First Class James Williams. The commanding officer at Fort Campbell is expected to decide next week whether Williams should be court-martialed for the event last April.

Williams, of Fort Campbell's 326th Engineer Battalion, is accused of carjacking, dereliction of duty, letting his troops drink alcohol, and allowing his platoon leader to carry personal firearms.

The soldier's attorney, Michael Love, said Williams only "commandeered" the truck after the platoon's vehicle broke down in Mosul. The US government later paid the sheik $32,000 for the loss of the truck, Love said.

Love said Williams did what he believed was right because the vehicle was to be used for military purposes and the war was not declared over. He said the Army allows soldiers to take civilian vehicles for military use.

Prosecutors said special orders were given in Mosul forbidding the use of civilian equipment.

Prosecutors also said beer, liquor, and cleaning materials for a privately owned shotgun were found during a search of Williams's unit.

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