Judge upholds ruling on key witness in double murder trial

Sgt. Joseph Bozicevich
Sgt. Joseph Bozicevich

HINESVILLE, GA (WTOC) – A military judge upheld a previous ruling about a key witness and denied a defense ruling requesting peremptory challenges in a hearing Friday, according to Fort Stewart Public Affairs Office.

Sgt. Joseph Bozicevich is charged with murdering two Third ID soldiers, Staff Sgt. Darris Dawson and Sgt. Wesley Durbin.

Witnesses say Bozicevich shot Dawson and Durbin at a patrol base in Iraq in September 2008 after they tried to counsel him for poor performance.

The defense argued for the need for more than one peremptory challenge to be used for the court-martial panel because of the senior rank of the panel members, according to the Fort Stewart Public Affairs Office.  That motion was denied, which means the government and defense with one peremptory challenge each.

Additional motions heard at the hearing involved additional funding of defense behavioral health, jury selection, and crime scene reconstruction experts.

The request for more funds for the defense's crime scene reconstruction expert was granted. The motions for the behavioral health and jury selection experts were taken under advisement, with rulings expected Monday, Fort Stewart Public Affairs Office.

The next hearing is scheduled for March 28, and panel selection for the murder trial begins March 29.

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