First-Person Testimony in Holmes Hearing

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“I saw him shoot it.”

Spc. Ryan Mallett was there that day. “There” was the village of La Muhamad Kalay in Afghanistan. “That day” was Jan. 15, 2010.

Mallet was with his fellow soldiers of Bravo Company, Second Battalion, First Infantry Regiment, Fifth Brigade. He said he was standing alongside, Pfc. Andrew Holmes and Spc. Jeremy Morlock.

Monday afternoon at Joint-Base Lewis McChord, Mallet took the stand as a key witness in an Article 32 evidentiary hearing where Holmes is accused of conspiracy, murder of an Afghan civilian and possessing body parts.

Mallet said he was walking alongside Holmes and Morlock as they came upon a group of Afghan farmers. Mallet said Morlock had called over to one of the farmers to approach.

Mallet said within moments, he heard Morlock shout, “Grenade! Grenade! Holmes shoot him!”

“I saw him shoot it,” Mallet testified, referring to Holmes firing his rifle at the civilian. Mallet said as the civilian was falling to the ground, a grenade went off underneath his body. Army prosecutors allege Morlock threw the grenade.

Mallet, physically uncomfortable while testifying in a whispered voice, said Holmes was a pretty good friend.