IPSWICH, England — A noncommissioned officer in a special operations unit went on trial for the second time Monday on charges he tried to kill a British man at a seaside motel last May.

Staff Sgt. Lorrenzo Sanchez has been held under house arrest since a deadlocked jury ended his first trial at the Ipswich Crown Court last November, according to court officials.

The 28-year-old member of the U.S. Air Force’s 352nd Special Operations Group returned to Suffolk’s principal town to face a new panel of jurors in connection with the May 11, 2005, stabbing.

He faces one count of attempted murder and one count of unlawful wounding.

Sanchez’s last trial focused on his mental state — whether or not he was subject to a “disassociated state” during the apparently motiveless attack against a 62-year-old British man he had never met.

Lead prosecutor Karim Khalil opened the trial Monday morning by providing the jurors a rough character sketch of Sanchez and detailing many of the major turning points of the early morning altercation in the Lowestoft hotel.

Khalil described Sanchez as a dedicated and disciplined airman. The same day of the attack, however, Sanchez made official his intentions to leave his wife after a tumultuous period. This left him downtrodden, heartbroken and, Khalil asserted, prone to violence.

The Iraq war veteran and two of his comrades from the 352nd Special Operations Group based out of RAF Mildenhall were in Lowestoft preparing a range for the unit’s training.

After completing the training grounds, the three had dinner on the town and drank heavily at a number of area pubs, Khalil said.

They returned to their hotel drunk, had a few more drinks and Sanchez apparently blacked out. It is in that period — sometime between the moment he left the hotel bar to the moment he “woke up” in the emergency room — that he attacked Derek Thrower, stabbing him 13 times.

The trial is shaping up to be a replay of the first proceeding with Sanchez not denying the attack, but arguing his mental state was a mitigating factor.

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