NBC Action News reports here that one inmate at the USDB killed another by hitting him with a baseball bat during recreation time.  The dead inmate is Navy LCDR Michael Fricke.  According to this report from the Virginian-Pilot, Fricke was about a month away from being paroled after serving 16 years for the predmeditated murder of his wife.  The inmate who allegedly struck Fricke with the bat hasn’t been identified.

21 Responses to “One USDB inmate reportedly kills another”

  1. Cloudesley Shovell says:

    Lexis has some pre-UCMJ cases referencing the fact that prisoners serving a court-martial sentence are still subject to military law, but I couldn’t find any case where Art. 2(a)(7) was the jurisdictional basis.

    Wonder if this may be a first.

  2. Gene Fidell says:

    Sir Cloudesley, this is definitely not a first. If you were not in the other world, and if you had a computer, and if you had access to Lexis, you could run a search in the CAAF/CCA cases for NAME[inmate] and get 16 hits. E.g., United States v. Davis, 44 M.J. 13 (C.A.A.F. 1996); United States v. Vogan, 35 M.J. 32 (C.M.A. 1992).

  3. Anonymous says:

    As tragic as ANY death is, looks like Karma happens…

  4. Cloudesley Shovell says:

    Mr Fidell:

    Thanks much for the search tip; I only looked briefly for cases that cited to Art. 2(a)(7), which didn’t produce any relevant results–apparently that jurisdictional basis has not been litigated much.


  5. Link Dead, Try This Instead says:


  6. Gene Fidell says:

    One wonders why the DB has not released the name of the other party. I assume the news media have asked and been turned down.

  7. RY says:

    I’ve heard unofficially that the suspect was SrA Steven M. Chapman, ACM 35564 (AFCCA 14 Jul 06), serving life w/opp for parole for attempted premed murder, rape, burglary, and sodomy. I understand his appeals were complete some time ago, final order was processed, and he should have his DD 214 already.

  8. John Harwood says:

    Man, I just read the Chapman opinion from his first CM. He seems like a bad dude — if he’s the one who killed the LTCDR with the bat, they may remove the “eligible for parole” tag from his life sentence.

  9. Stu Couch says:

    Roger that — sounds like he will have a tough time before a parole board for many years to come.

  10. Ben says:

    Where did you hear (unofficially) Ara Steven M, Chapman is the suspect? LTCDR.Fricke was apparently liked by most everyone (including the guards) obviously not by whoever did this a month before his release. The timing of this is suspicious to say the least. It is on record that “stuff like this doesn’t happen very much in Leavenworth” Was Chapman a trustee do you know?

  11. USDB Allum says:

    I was released from the USDB in May of this year. I knew both Fricke and Chapman. Though, I knew of Fricke alot more. Fricke had been a softball umpire for many years as that is one way to earn days off your sentence. I never spoke to Fricke about his case as the first I learned of it was after his death. As for Chapman, he was a younger man, bigger, baby faced, though a bit slow if you get my meaning. I can still see his face (Chapman. A mommy’s boy. But, looks can be wrong. Anyway, I hear that the softball season is over (it ended the day the event took place) and for now there are no using of the weights normally available to the inmates. It is funny, the DB was for years looking for a way to take the weights and weight room away from the inmates as the DB is the only prison with weights available to their inmates for miles, maybe states.

  12. USMCinjustice says:

    Fricke wasn’t THAT well liked dude… he was liked by the cadre ’cause he told them what was going on behind the walls… he and his buddy Tom. That said, those softball games often got heated because the emotions from the daily routine carried over to those ball games. They used to be cool – when inmates used to ‘police’ inmates but when they moved from the castle and took all that away, well – quite frankly, the DB got what the DB deserves. Back in a day that incident would have been squashed in seconds with no issues. Now, others stand by and watch ’cause they are all scared of getting in trouble – the zero defect mentality. Sure, everyone “does their own time” and that is preached to everyone when they get there – but they don’t add the disclaimer, “You do your own time but, with everyone else…”
    Yeah, I was there – the new place and the old. I knew Fricke and still know Chapman. Chapman isn’t ‘simple’ as you describe. That has nothing to do with this… and if you were there (as you say) you know this incident started somewhere else, at an earlier time and this was just the result of ‘pent-up’ frustration, agrivation, and anger. Remember when Fricke was brought back inside the walls (switched from blue to brown)? It was never HIS fault – not when he could give them what they wanted. He got in people’s business and everyone knew it. That said, he did alot of dirty stuff as well – why do you think he spent so much time at the Chapel!!!
    I’m not saying ANYONE deserves what happened to Fricke – and I’m not saying Chapman should be hung out for what he did. I WILL say (again) what happened that day didn’t start there and the cadre knows that. Hell – the guards are as much ‘suspect’ as the inmates in that place… again, if you were there like you say… remember the ‘roids’ and pot? Ohhhhh we don’t see that in the news, do we…

  13. USMCinjustice says:

    Yes – I was directing that comment to Allum –
    I’m not surprised nothing has been released… things at the DB are ‘held close’. I know of two people who died in the castle but the releases stated they died in the hospital. Guess they’re correct in some respect – they were probably pronouced there…

  14. USMCinjustice says:

    Wish I could comment on YOUR comment but can’t seem to find it… Anyways, if it’s been pulled, I can understand why. You hit the nail on the head…

  15. former 'mate says:

    uh…he won’t be getting parole EVER! I know him very well and. He will get another CM and they will give him life or the death sentence and steve will never see the light of day…oh well. he was hot tempered

  16. lol says:

    Is this a law website? It seems like very few ppl here have any concept of UCMJ. Cloudsley…if you read the MCM and RCM you will find that the Military has juristiction while an inmate is serving time. It takes more than a DD214 to be discharged. Look at US vs Erickson, he was charged with crimes in between years apart enlistments! Harwood. they can not take the parole option off his sentence, he just won’t get it, After this next courts-martial, he will pretty much be a lost cause. Couch, he won’t have a tough time, they will just say he hasn’t doen enough “crime time”, he is not eligible until 20 yr mark anyway. What, Ben, is suspicious about the “timing” Fricke was always on the outs with someone, he still thought he was an officer and he was a snitch! I can not tell you how any times he was in “heated discussions” on the rec field. Take this for what it is worth: If any of you are military lawyers, it is no wonder no one gets any justice in the UCMJ system as you are hardly schooled in Military law, ask the AF lawyer doing time at the USDB how well he understood UCMJ, and how corrupt the system is. I am staggered that so many will comment on this subject and be so clueless…sad…to those who were “inside-brown/green” good luck!

  17. Former Castle DB'er says:

    Fricke A.K.A- The man with the rambo bandanna, I remember seeing him run around the Rec field all rambo like. We all chose to serve our time differently, some chose to be a hard ass, some chose to workout, some play games, some try to play thug. Mike survived by being like-able. He didn’t hold back when guards would talk to him, like most would. I wouldn’t say he was a snitch per say, I’d say he he just didn’t realize what he was doing. He had a bad habit of interjecting is thoughts when around the conversations of others. Regardless, he paid his debt to society. I’ve heard the “karma” phrase used throughout many post regarding this topic. His karma was the 16 years he spent thinking about what he did. If talking too much is the worst thing that can be said about the man, well good for him. I met a lot of very bad people while I was there and Mike Frike was a walking talking example of rehabilitation. It’s a shame that this had to happen. Additionally, now everyone else will be forced to suffer, losing privileges. We can’t forget that this is prison. I consider myself extremely lucky for my stay at the castle. It could have been much worse. God Bless Mike

  18. Kuhn says:

    I was a guard at USDB from 04 to 08 any of you DB alums remember me and if you do does anyone know a way to contact or what is going on with Johnny Brewer??? hope to hear from you

  19. BERNARD C says:

    I was there in 1989-1991 in the castle, I was in mim as well I remember in mio which was 6wing two white boys threw a black airman off the 6 teir nd he died they held an memorial; for the guy in the gym. the guy was quite nd cool he was a porter. I don’t know the putcome as to what happen. But that started a Black nnd white thang back then. I’ve learn a lesson from there. DDo you nad move forward without lookin back! It has been workin for me since I left USDB 21 yrs 16 day ago. This will remaine on ur record but the courts don’t know what it is. It is call an Exc. order. well I do not do things that will put me back in places like this. I am sorry to hear what happen to the guy who was dew to be parole, but life goes on. All I can say is do your time get out start your life new. just wanted to share thAT . THANKS FOR LETTING ME SHARE!

  20. DB Vetran says:

    i was at the DB for quite a few years and Knew Fricke pretty well. He was a good dude, and a good friend. He loved his son, and always helped others out if he could. Whenever anyone would be talking petty things about someone he would never join in and he never cared about what people said about him. Chapman was a loser. He tried to act all bad, but he got busted on by quite a few. He was over emotional and i thought he was a piece of s#^! Even before he did this. I personally think he was unhappy that fricke was getting out and he was never leaving. Whatevere the case, Fricke, you will be missed. Know you would of gotten out and done many positive things with your life.

  21. Leavenworth Vet says:

    Fricke was not a bad guy and I think many might have been put of by his ego which unfortunately could get people to think he thought he was better then others he was serving time with. He did have strong opinions but was intelligent enough to back them up. I was a correctional officer stationed there for 6 years starting in the late 1990’s and ending in 2004, and knew both of these inmates, although I never spent much time around Chapman. The USDB definitely did like to try to keep things hush, hush when bad things happened, especially inmate deaths. 4 base 2 tier right in the castle and the inmate who hanged himself is an example of this. He should not have died. And the person who spoke about about Fricke things carrying over, and then coming on to the softball field, most likely happened. Either way, he didn’t deserve to die in there that way. For those who never were there as an inmate or staff, if you all only knew some of the things that were going on in those walls that the “outside world” never found out, especially in the old castle, you would shake your head in disbelief.