Updated: Wednesday, 27 Jan 2010, 6:03 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 27 Jan 2010, 6:14 AM EST
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - A former Blackwater contractor has pleaded not guilty to the shooting deaths of two Afghans.
Chris Drotleff of Virginia Beach was arraigned Wednesday in Norfolk. U.S. Magistrate Judge Tommy Miller scheduled Drotleff's jury trial for Sept. 14. He also set an April 19 hearing on whether the U.S. attorney general intends to seek the death penalty.
The 29-year-old Drotleff and another former contractor, 27-year-old Justin Cannon of Corpus Christi, Texas, are charged with second-degree murder, attempted murder and weapons charges. They are being held in custody until trial.
The men have said they were justified in opening fire last year on a car that caused an accident in front of their vehicle at a Kabul intersection, then sped toward them.
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