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Posted at 5:36 PM ET, 03/ 1/2011

Blackwater contractors go on trial again

By Dana Hedgpeth

Jurors heard opening arguments Wednesday in the retrial of two former Blackwater contractors who are charged in federal court in the shooting deaths of two Afghans in Kabul.

The case is being prosecuted in Norfolk. The first trial ended in September with a hung jury.

In the last trial, prosecutors said the men -- Justin H. Cannon of Corpus Christi, Texas, and Christopher A. Drotleff of Virginia Beach, -- had been drinking and were in violation of military and company policy at the time of the incident.

The men face murder, assault and weapons charges.

Defense lawyers have said the two men had reasonable fear that they were in danger on a dangerous and dark road on the night of May 5, 2009 when they opened fire.

By Dana Hedgpeth  | March 1, 2011; 5:36 PM ET
Categories:  Dana Hedgpeth, From the Courthouse  | Tags:  Blackwater contractors on trial  
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