Judge in 'fragging' case rejects request for mistrial

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A military judge presiding over the trial of Staff Sgt. Alberto Martinez, accused of killing two Hudson Valley soldiers, rejected the defense?s request for a mistrial Thursday.

Since the beginning of the trial, military prosecutors have been trying to prove Martinez used a Claymore mine and grenades to kill his superior officers, 1st Lt. Lou Allen and Capt. Phil Esposito, in Iraq in 2005.

Prosecutors claim Martinez was angry at Capt. Esposito and was heard threatening to "frag" him. The defense, however, says the Army rushed to peg the murders on Martinez, who has pleaded not guilty.

?This is going to take forever because of this repetitive cross-examination,? says Allen?s sister, Laurene Sandstrom, who has been following the proceeding in Fort Bragg via video feed.

In the coming days, the jury will hear the testimony of the first responders who treated the two officers after the explosion.

If convicted, Martinez is facing capital punishment.

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