Marine Corps drops charges in friendly fire case

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SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Marine Corps has dropped charges against a tank commander in the Afghanistan battlefield death of the son of the San Antonio Spurs' team physician.

Camp Pendleton spokesman 1st Lt. Eric Flanagan said Tuesday that Maj. Gen. John Toolan decided to not send Sgt. Jason R. Byrd to court-martial after reviewing evidence in the October shooting death of Lance Cpl. Benjamin Schmidt.

The 24-year-old was the son of Dr. David Schmidt, who's a team physician with the Spurs.

Toolan is the senior U.S. Marine commander in southwestern Afghanistan.

The military has called the shooting a case of friendly fire.

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