Family fights for Fort Bragg officer facing murder charges
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (WTVD) -- Anna Lorance is making an emotional plea for her son's innocence.
"My son does not deserve this," she told ABC11.
First Lieutenant Clint Lorance faces two counts of second-degree murder for allegedly ordering his soldiers to illegally shoot two Afghan villagers in 2012.
Fort Bragg officials say the incident happened last July when Lorance, a platoon leader at the time, gave the okay for soldiers to shoot the villagers who approached a checkpoint on motorcycles. The Army claims the order was premature and the men weren't hostile.
"He did the only thing he felt he could do, thinking of his troops and himself, to bring them back home alive," said his mother.
Lorance told his family he was on high alert, heading into enemy territory, and was getting radio warning from Army pilots patrolling the skies when it happened. He says he was only trying to protect his platoon. Now, his family is speaking out, saying he is being unfairly treated by the military.
"No matter how tough and strong he tries to act, a mother can see through a child's eyes. He's very devastated," said Anna Lorance.
A website has been set up to highlight Lorance's case and there's been a huge outpouring of support on social media. More than 3,000 people from around the world have now signed a petition to drop the charges.
"I want him to be respected for who he is. I want these charges against my son to be dropped. They're ridiculous. There's no way my son could do anything besides give 100 percent of himself to be an officer," said his mother.
Lorance is also charged with attempted murder, ordering illegal harassing fire into a nearby village and obstructing justice. He's since been removed from his position and is awaiting a court martial set for July 30.
Fort Bragg officials tell us the two soldiers who fired the shots were reprimanded but didn't have to go through a full court martial.
More on Lorance's case can be found at:
fort bragg, local/state
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