Prosecutors say Captain Shawn Martin unnecessarily used his pistol, fists and a baseball bat to terrorize unarmed civilians in Iraq. But his lawyer contends force was used to keep Martin's troops alive and insurgents in check.
The arguments were heard Monday in a hearing at Fort Carson to determine if Martin should be court-martialed.
He faces eight counts of assault along with obstruction of justice and conduct unbecoming of an officer. A conviction could bring 66 years behind bars.
A recommendation on whether he'll be court martialed is expected later this month.
In May of last year, Martin's company took control of an Iraqi town. As the senior military commander in the area, Martin ruled the town while preparing Iraqi leaders to govern themselves.
Another soldier, Sergeant First Class Ceola Turner, Jr., also could face court martial. He's waived his right to a hearing on one count of assault consummated by a battery and one count of aggravated assault with a loaded firearm.
Meantime, new details are emerging this week in the case of other Fort Carson soldiers accused of suffocating an Iraqi general.
In a new filing in the case, the military says that one of the accused solidiers knew an interrogation technique he was using has caused other another person to pass out.
Major General Abed Mowhoush, who was suspected of funding insurgent attacks on U.S. forces, died during an interrogation last November. The filing says that he was placed inside a sleeping bag and tied with an electrical cord in what the Army referred to as a stress position.
The Army says one soldier, Chief Warrant Officer Lewis Welshofer, Jr., placed his hand over the general's mouth, and he eventually stopped breathing. When he recovered after about 15 seconds, the soldier allegedly had him turn on his stomach and then sat on his back until he died.