NY soldier denies guilt after 'fragging' acquittal

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- A New York National Guard soldier acquitted of murder in the deaths of two superiors in Iraq says he expected a guilty verdict despite being "very, very innocent."

Staff Sgt. Alberto Martinez may be released from active duty and returned to the 42nd Infantry Division unit after his military court acquittal last week in North Carolina.

The 41-year-old Martinez, from Troy, N.Y., told the Times Union of Albany newspaper in e-mails that he doesn't know anything about the mine blast that killed the two in 2005. He was accused of killing a direct superior - known as "fragging" - and could have faced the death penalty if convicted.

Martinez said there were "many suspects out there" who could have committed the crime. Killed were Capt. Phillip Esposito of Suffern, N.Y., and 1st Lt. Louis Allen of Milford, Pa.


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