An alert reader posted a link to this article reporting that Sgt Nelson is pleading guilty to dereliction of duty under a PTA that will protect him from both confinement and a punitive discharge.

Here’s a link to the North County Times‘ article on the case’s resolution.

7 Responses to “Sgt Nelson’s court-martial arising from Fallujah resolved with PTA”

  1. Southern Defense Counsel says:

    Anyone else notice Nelson’s attorney seems to be trying to dq the judge, discussing PTA terms before the close of sentencing?

  2. No Man says:

    SDC, but what’s the prejudice? I can’t see anyone ever winnning that argument on appeal–unless the CA backs out of the deal.

  3. John O'Connor says:

    The law 13 years ago, scant as it was, was that the MJ could proceed even though someobody blurted out the sentencing provision of the PTA. I had a case where the DC handed the judge the copy of the PTA with the sentence limitation provisions and we had to research the issue.

  4. Anon says:

    Must be a “bad case” for the government to agree to dereliction of duty and no confinement or kick. Seriously, what’s the point? Should have given him an Article 15 or a Summary CM. I understand he’ll have a conviction, but that is hardly punishment…

  5. Comrade Cossio says:

    Not even a “conviction” I doubt a military offense of “Dereliction of Duty” will even transfer to the civilian world in any way shape or form.

    “Hardly Punishment” ??? You are assuming that he is guilty of more than dereliction of Duty and you are assuming that he hasn’t suffered enough from a long Axiety ridden courts-martial hanging over your head. I can tell you from personal experiance, it is anathema.

  6. Southern Defense Counsel says:

    No man,

    Your point is well taken. I guess my problem is more that it is unseemly in my eyes. The only prejudice I could see is if the MJ gave a particularly harsh sentence (can’t think of one at SPCM for dereliction that involves shooting someone, I’d think 12 mos, BCD, E-1 forfeiture of 2/3 pay for 12 months would be appropriate. Or, perhaps the judge will get creative and adjudge hard labor without confinement just to stick it to the DC.

  7. No Man says:


    HLWOC, now that would be creative. Nice thought.