Reservist says he wasn't in charge of range where soldier killed

Major Darryl Watts, a Calgary reservist, and his lawyer Balfour Der walk through Mewata Armoury to...

Major Darryl Watts, a Calgary reservist, and his lawyer Balfour Der walk through Mewata Armoury to Watts' ongoing court martial proceedings in Calgary, Alta. on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. Watts faces a court martial in relation to the friendly fire death of a soldier in at a training range in Afghanistan two years ago. Lyle Aspinall/Calgary Sun/QMI Agency

Kevin Martin, Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:07 PM ET

Maj. Darryl Watts, the Calgary army reservist charged with manslaughter in an Afghan training exercise, testified Monday he was not the officer in command of the firing range.

And Watts told defence lawyer Balfour Der he wasn't even familiar with the C19 mines, which were test fired at the end of the Feb. 12, 2010 drill northeast of Kandahar city.

Watts, testifying at his Calgary court martial hearing at Mewata Armoury, said he delegated the responsibility of the C19 range to his second-in-command, Warrant Officer Paul Ravensdale.

He said he was only in charge of one of the four ranges set up at Kan Kala, in the desert just northeast of Kandahar.

"Each range ... was under the supervision of one individual who was trained to conduct that range," Watts told a five-member jury panel of senior officers presiding over his court martial.

Watts, 42, faces six charges, including manslaughter in connection with the explosion which killed Cpl. Joshua Baker and injured four other soldiers who were members of his platoon.

If convicted Watts could face a number of punishments, from a reduction in rank, to imprisonment.

Ravensdale is to face a similar hearing on the same charges in the new year.

Watts' hearing continues.

kevin.martin@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter: @SUNKevinMartin 


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