Calgary reservist linked to soldier's death won't be jailed

A Calgary reservist has been sentenced to a reduction in rank and a severe reprimand for his role in a soldier's death during a live-fire training exercise in Afghanistan.

Maj. Darryl Watts was found guilty last year of unlawfully causing bodily harm and negligent performance of duty.

His rank was reduced to lieutenant as part of his sentence today at the Calgary court martial.

Watts, who is a full-time firefighter in Calgary, was the platoon commander when an explosive device killed 24-year-old Cpl. Josh Baker at a training range just north of Kandahar city in February 2010.

Four other soldiers were also wounded when Claymore explosives (C19s) packed with 700 steel balls hit a Canadian Forces platoon.

The prosecution was seeking a jail term of 18 months and dismissal from the forces, or demotion of two ranks.

The sentencing judge — a senior ranking military officer — cited Watts's promising career with the military and now with the Calgary Fire Department as reasons for not sending him to jail.

"He can continue to be a highly effective officer," said Cmdr. Peter Lamont.

Lamont called Watts' demotion rehabilitative, saying where rank can be lost it can also be regained.

[ [ [['xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx', 11]], '27013743', '0' ], [ [['keyword', 9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999]], 'videoID', '1', 'overwrite-pre-description', 'overwrite-link-string', 'overwrite-link-url' ] ]