Lawyer: Army Guardsman shot Afghan in self-defense

July 25, 2011 - 2:44 PM

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) — The attorney for a U.S. Army National Guardsman charged with the premeditated murder of an Afghan man says the soldier shot the man in self-defense.

Sgt. Derrick Miller of Hagerstown, Md., is on trial at Fort Campbell. Opening arguments began Monday.

His attorney, Charles Gittins, said during opening arguments that Miller shot Atta Mohammed last year when the Afghan reached for the soldier's gun during questioning.

But military prosecutors argued that Miller took a gun from another soldier, straddled the Afghan on the ground and threatened his life before shooting him in the head.

Miller was assigned to a Connecticut National Guard unit. At the time of the shooting, he was attached to the 101st Airborne Division, which is based at Fort Campbell along the Kentucky-Tennessee line.