October 25, 2007CBC News
An army reservist from Glace Bay, N.S., has been charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of a fellow Canadian soldier in Afghanistan in the spring.
Cpl. Matthew Wilcox is also charged with criminal negligence causing death and negligent performance of duty.
On March 6, Cpl. Kevin Megeney was shot in the chest while in his tent at the Kandahar airbase.
The military called it an accidental shooting, and the Megeney family stated they did not wish to see charges laid against the soldier involved.
There is no word on when Wilcox's military trial will be held.
Megeney's father, Dexter Megeney, said military officials came to the family home on Thursday to inform him of the charges.
"We're letting them do their job," he said of the military prosecutors. "We're not out for blood or anything."
Wilcox is with the 2nd Battalion, Nova Scotia Highlanders, based at Victoria Park in Sydney.
Megeney, a reservist from Stellarton, N.S., was a member of the 1st Battalion, Nova Scotia Highlanders and had been in Afghanistan since December.
'It's a tragedy on two fronts'
Rodger Cuzner, the Liberal MP for Cape Breton-Canso who grew up in Glace Bay with the Wilcox family, said the soldier's father, Keith Wilcox, came to tears the last time Cuzner saw him, at a rally for the troops in Afghanistan.
"It's a tragedy on two fronts with the loss of a great young soldier and certainly the impact this will have on Matthew Wilcox," Cuzner told CBC News on Thursday in Ottawa.
He called for the community to show their support for both families.
"I think if there's ever been a time when we need that, it's probably now," Cuzner said.
In August, another Canadian soldier was killed by an apparent accidental discharge, this time during a patrol on an Afghan road.
The military announced earlier in October that Master Cpl. Robbie Fraser would face a military trial on charges of manslaughter and negligent performance of duty related to the death of Master Cpl. Jeff Walsh.
Canada has about 2,500 soldiers in Afghanistan, most of them stationed in the south, as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.
Seventy-one Canadian soldiers and one diplomat have been killed in the war-torn country since the mission began in 2002.
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