The convening authority in the case of United States v. Specialist Ivette Davis has reportedly referred it to a capital general court-martial. 

h/t:  Phil Cave’s Court-Martial Trial Practice blog

12 Responses to “Fort Lewis double homicide case referred capitally”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Do you happen to know if any other capital court-martial has involved a female accused?

  2. John O'Connor says:

    Anon 2008:

    Covert (of Reid v. Covert fame). Also the court-martial that resulted in Kinsella v. Krueger (can’t remember if the accused’s name was Krueger or not). I don’t think there have been any since the military death penalty got reinstated.

  3. Bridget says:

    Weren’t both the defendants in Reid v Covert and Kinsella v Krueger dependents of service members? Unless there is another case of which I am unaware, I believe SPC Davila may have the dubious distinction of being the first American service woman to be sent to a capital court-martial.

  4. John O'Connor says:

    Yes, the accuseds were Clarise (sp) Covert and, I believe, a woman named Dial. Both were dependents.

  5. Gordon Smith says:

    In Kinsella v. Krueger, the accused was named Dorothy Krueger Smith, daughter of General Walter Krueger, the war-time commander of the Sixth Army. I believe she was a dependent of a service member. Colonel Aubrey Smith of the United States Army.

  6. John O'Connor says:

    I defer to Gordon Smith on the name of the accused in Krueger. One of those cases had an accused named Dial, can’t remember which one.

  7. Cloudesley Shovell says:

    “Pierce County authorities transferred jurisdiction of the case to the military.” Thank goodness! What would the military have done without the cooperation of Pierce County authorities?

    Perhaps I should not snark so much; it was an informative article. That sentence gave me a good chuckle, though.

    JO’C–You’re thinking of US v. Joanna Dial, 9 U.S.C.M.A. 541, 26 C.M.R. 321 (CMA 1958), which held that notwithstanding Reid v. Covert, there was jurisdiction over Mrs. Dial because she was charged with a non-capital offense (manslaughter), and Reid v. Covert was limited to the question of jurisdiction over a capital offense.

  8. John O'Connor says:

    I think you’re right, Cloudesley. And she was the accused at issue in Kinsella v. United States ex rel. Singleton, where the Supreme Court rejected court-martial jurisdiction over civilians for non-capital offenses.

  9. Cloudesley Shovell says:

    JO’C–Aha! I knew that the CMA case couldn’t possibly be good law, but the follow-on habeas case doesn’t show up in Shepard’s, and I didn’t search any further. The habeas case was brought by Mrs. Dial’s mother, thus Kinsella rather than Dial. Learn something new every day.

  10. John O'Connor says:

    Actually, Cloudesley, Kinsella was the warden. Singeton was Dial’s mother.

  11. Cloudesley Shovell says:


  12. Anonymous says:

    Maybe this should be posted on DoD’s webpage observing National Women’s History Month and saluting the many contributions of American Women to our country.