Now that the Lakin case has moved away from the guano crazy birther defense devised by Paul Rolf Jensen, it seems time to consider whether LTC Lakin is actually guilty of the charges he faces.  As to Charge I and its specification, the answer seems to be, “Not necessarily.”

LTC Lakin faces two charges with a total of five specifications.  Charge II alleges an Article 92 violation supported by three specifications of disobeying a lawful order and one specification of willful dereliction of duty.  (Two pairs of specs appear duplicate one another– one (Spec 3) alleges failure to report to Fort Campbell as an orders violation and one (Spec 4) alleges the same failure as a willful dereliction of duty; two specs (Specs 1 and 2) appear to allege failure to report to the brigade commander’s office as a violation of two separate commissioned officers’ orders.)

Charge I alleges a missing movement.  Here’s the spec: 

In that Lieutenant Colonel Terrence L. Lakin, U.S. Army, did, at or near Arlington, Virginia, on or about 12 April 2010, through design, miss the movement of U.S. Airways Flight Number 1123, departing from Baltimore/Washington International Airport arriving in Charlotte, North Carolina, in order to deploy for a Temporary Change of Station in support of Operation Enduring Freedom with the 32nd Calvary Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Kentucky, with which he was required in the course of duty to move.

So LTC Lakin is charged with missing movement by failing to take a commercial flight from BWI to Charlotte.  Does missing such a commercial flight constitute a missing movement offense?  Here’s what CMA had to say on that subject:

[T]he Government presented no evidence that appellant was required to travel aboard that specific aircraft. In fact, the evidence is to the contrary. Because appellant was issued a “Category Z” ticket, he could exchange or cancel the ticket by dealing directly with the airline, without approval or intervention by any military official. If he failed to use the ticket, the Government would not be charged for the ticket, and the seat would be available to any other commercial passenger. There is no evidence that there would have been any impact on military operations if appellant had taken an earlier flight or used alternate means of travel to arrive at his new duty station on time. See United States v. Gibson, 17 MJ 143, 144 (CMA 1984) (absentee who was given ticket for commercial flight back to duty station but missed flight not guilty of missing movement). Accordingly, we hold that the Government failed to prove that appellant was required to move with a specific ship, aircraft, or unit.

United States v. Kapple, 40 M.J. 472, 473-74 (C.M.A. 1994).

In a published 2004 guilty plea case, ACCA distinguished KappleUnited States v. Gonzalez, 60 M.J. 572 (A. Ct. Crim. App. 2004).  In Gonzalez, ACCA upheld two out of three missing movement convictions because the accused had been ordered not to change those two ticketed flights.

So a legitimate defense to the missing movement charge might be available to LTC Lakin.  If he was simply issued travel orders through DTS that identified a particular flight as part of his itinerary from the D.C. area to Fort Campbell but he remained free to change that flight, then Kapple and Gonzalez would appear to prevent him from being found guilty of missing movement.  Even if LTC Lakin were to plead guilty to missing movement, without facts establishing that LTC Lakin wasn’t authorized to change his flight or that no other flight could have taken him to Fort Campbell on time, Judge Lind would be precluded from accepting his guilty plea.

Because LTC Lakin waived his Article 32 investigation, we have no information as to whether LTC Lakin received a thou-shalt-not-alter-thy-itinerary order or not.  (If not, this issue points to the wisdom of holding an Article 32 investigation even where the accused has waived the right to a 32–it can help the government perfect its charges.)

If the government can’t show that LTC Lakin was ordered not to change his itinerary, then he’ll probably ultimately be convicted of no more than two offenses, since a conviction for both Specs 1 and 2 of Charge II seems unlikely, as does a conviction for both Specs 3 and 4.  At the very least, the two pairs will likely be held multiplicious for sentencing purposes.  Being found guilty of either Spec 1 or Spec 2 and either Spec 3 or Spec 4 (or being subject to punishment for only one from column A and one from column B) would drop his maximum confinement time down to a year.  It makes one wonder why the government didn’t charge LTC Lakin with willful disobedience of a superior commissioned officer’s orders — each spec of which would carry a 5-year maximum. Since specs 2 and 3 allege violations of orders issued by bird colonels, it appears that either or both of those offenses could have been charged under Article 90.

43 Responses to “Is LTC Lakin guilty of missing movement? Not necessarily”

  1. sg says:

    Am I correct in understanding that multiplicious charges are essentially charging two or more different crimes for the same act? And if that is the case, how does it happen when double jeopardy is forbidden by the constitution? Is not charging two separate crimes (where one is not an element or part of the other)for the same act a violation of that clause of the 5th Amendment?
    I’ve read on CAAFlog before about multiplicious charges and it seems to be something that is a problem.
    So in this case for example, the government could have charged LTC Lakin for either disobeying a lawful order, or for missing a movement, but not both crimes, even though the was ordered to get on a plane and violated that order by not getting on the plane and also missed movement because he wasn’t on that plane? It’s one or the other but not both, am I correct? Cause both just seems like piling on.

  2. Dwight Sullivan says:


    One military justice appellate opinion famously observed: “Finally, Airman Barnard invites us to descend with him into that inner circle of the Inferno where the damned endlessly debate multiplicity for sentencing.” United States v. Barnard, 32 M.J. 530, 537 (A.F.C.M.R. 1990). I’m very short on time tonight, so I’ll give you a too-cursory response. If no one has fleshed it out by tomorrow night, I’ll give a longer reply.

    Probably most importantly, there’s nothing wrong with CHARGING multiplicious specifications. All a prosecutor has to say is “contingencies of proof,” and the military judge will probably let multiplicious specs stay on the charge sheet. However, there is something wrong with CONVICTING on multiplicious specs. So a military judge will probably tell the members that they can find LTC Lakin guilty of either Spec 1 or Spec 2, but not both. Similarly, they can find LTC Lakin guilty of either Spec 3 or Spect 4, but not both. There’s also a concept of multiplicity for sentencing purposes, which says that even if specs aren’t multiplicious for findings purposes, it may still be unfair to punish the accused separately for both. That concept would almost certainly be in play here, and may even result in the military judge determining that LTC Lakin can’t be separately punished for Charge I and its spec and Specs 3 and 4 of Charge II. Finally, there’s another concept called “unreasonable multiplication of charges,” which embraces an unfair piling on concept.

    But here’s an interesting thing: missing movement by design carries a 2 year maximum. So if the government had to pick just one spec to keep, it would likely be that one. But the government may not be able to keep that spec at all if LTC Lakin wasn’t ordered by someone with the requisite authority that he must be on the particular USAir flight alleged in the spec.

    My apologies for the rushed non-explanation. Again, I’ll devote greater time to your very good questions tomorrow night unless our colleagues have rendered further explanation unnecessary.

  3. publius says:

    Art 86 is an LIO of Art 87. It’s sloppy charging (unless TC has the iron-clad “thou shall not change your ticket” order in hand), but it’s not fatal.

  4. Dwight Sullivan says:

    Publius, I’m not sure one could create an Article 86 LIO of this Article 87 that would provide fair notice under Jones. Even if one could, it would probably be multiplicious with at least one of the Article 92 specs. And if one can manage to avoid all that, the maximum confinement for failing to go to his appointed place of duty is one month.

  5. Rob M says:

    The charged specification makes mention of both a specific flight number and a specific unit. According to the MCM, failure to move with a designated unit is a violation of the article no matter with what mode of transportation the unit ultimately moves. So if whicever element of the 32nd Cav Regiment with which he was supposed to deploy (the only sqdn in the 101st ABN is 1-32 CAV, part of 1st BCT) did in fact “move” to Afghanistan, and he wasn’t with them, that could also be a violation.

    The specification is phrased a bit oddly; it doesn’t track the MCM (the whole “in order to__” language seems extra) but perhaps it’s phrased that way in order to avoid the issue identified above. Could that “with which he was required in the course of duty to move” be read to apply to both/either the named flight and the unit deployment?

    There’s also the issue that the 32nd cavalry regiment is not part of the 101st airborne division, just one squadron thereof. Is that a problem?

    If Lakin walks on a technicality, expect his fringe supporters to make ludicrous claims of vindication like “See! They KNOW they can’t punish him because they KNOW he’s really right!”

  6. sg says:

    My apologies for the rushed non-explanation.

    I have to smile at that. I now, after three paragraphs, know much more than I did. I get the impression however that this is a big and complex issue.

  7. Trevor says:

    Since Lakin had made published and recorded public statements to the effect that he WAS deliberately and defiantly refusing to deploy, does that not nullify the whole, “this flight or that flight” concern..?

    That issue at hand I would have thought is the deliberate act and actions of the accused not necessarily the minutiae of the paths taken.

    Then again IANAL nor do I play one of TV….8-)

  8. Christopher Mathews says:

    I get the impression however that this is a big and complex issue.

    The various appellate courts have been whacking away at it for decades now, with about the same effect as digging a hole in the waters of Lake Superior.

  9. publius says:

    Fair enough, sir. I’ll defer to you on Jones. My understanding is that’s it has recently been undercut a bit regarding what constiutes notice, but I’m not sure of the particulars. A simple “failure to go” offense has a light sentence, so it makes sense TC would look to the longer sentence art 87 offers, as you noted. An “absence” art 86 has a longer sentence, but its application here would be fact driven. Was LTC L “absent” from his unit? How long was this period of absence, etc? Since it’s this case, I’m proud I don’t know the answers to those questions.

  10. Capt. Obvious says:

    The various appellate courts have been whacking away at it for decades now, with about the same effect as digging a hole in the waters of Lake Superior.

    The current case is an Erie situation with regards to his Superiors but I think Huron the right track. As far as missing a movement, the LTC sure won’t Michigan once his piers put the not-so-great Lakin confinement.

  11. Greg says:

    In Gonzalez, the two upheld orders were because he was ordered, verbally, to not change his flight. In his developmental counseling form:

    Lakin was clearly directed to appear for duty in Fort Campbell on April 12.

    Compare that date with the flight date. They’re the same. Kapple’s flight was scheduled 5 days before his “not later than” reporting date.

    I think it not unlikely that Lakin was ordered, at least verbally, to be on that plane.

  12. jamese777 says:

    Now THAT was funny! Thanks for the giggle.
    I have an unrelated question to ask those with Courts Martial experience who post here: does panel nullification happen in the military with a similar frequency to its occurence in civilian courts?
    What do you folks think are the possibilities of panel nullification regardless of the facts in the Lakin court martial?
    The reason I ask is that one of my best friends is a civilian defense attorney and he constantly tells me that any time you walk into a court of law, you never know what is going to happen.

  13. John O'Connor says:

    My experience (granted, it’s 12 years old) was that military panels are conditioned to follow directions and they’ll convict if the elements are proven. I don’t see nullification as a common occurrence at all.

    I tried a DUI case where the accused was found asleep at the wheel of a running car. He tried to defend by bringing in a witness to say they were partying at the beach, the accused got hammered and wanted to lie down, and that his friends put him behind the wheel and then turned on the car so he wouldn’t be cold. This was probably all untrue, but I read the members the instruction that said that being behind a wheel of a running car was enough and told them it wasn’t their job to decide if that rule was a good one. They convicted.

    If Lakin goes members, wanna bet there’s lots of combat veterans on the panel?

  14. Greg says:

    I wonder if this couldn’t be like the unpublished case of US v. Etter (NMCCA 200600422, 21 Mar. 2007). The defendant there missed the bus from Camp Lejeune to Cherry Point when he was to be deployed to Iraq. (He was caught and taken to Cherry Point but not in time for the flight.)

    The Court said that it didn’t matter so much that the accused missed a short bus ride, it was the movement that was missed:

    The appellant was ordered to form up with his stick at 0800 for transportation to Iraq. That transportation included the bus ride to Cherry Point, the subsequent flight to Iraq, and any ground transportation necessary to get to their specific duty location within Iraq. There is no meaningful distinction to be made between the various modes of transportation necessary to get the unit to their new location. It is the missed “move,” not the mode of moving, that is significant. See United States v. Graham, 16 M.J. 460, 461 (C.M.A. 1983). Thus, when the appellant failed to muster and depart with his stick on the buses to Cherry Point, he was guilty of missing movement.

    Lakin was ordered to show up at Fort Campbell on April 12 “in order to deploy with your unit.” He failed to show up on April 12 so he could be deployed to Afghanistan, so it’s missing the movement that’s important, not the mode of transportation.

  15. Christopher Mathews says:

    After more than eight years of continuous action in Afghanistan and Iraq, I’d be surprised if there are any members who haven’t been deployed at least once. How many have actually come under fire is another matter, but pretty much anyone who served in country can I think make a claim to being a combat veteran.

    And my experience was much the same as J O’C’s — court-martial members take their duty very seriously. If they acquit, it’s generally because they thought the government failed to prove its case, not because they thought the law was wrong.

  16. RY says:

    It happens but rarely. When it does happen, usually it’s because members greatly disagreed with the charge and ramifications of the conviction, or they were more upset with someone else in the process. I remember, for example, a case where A1C assaulted SSgt but evidence showed SSgt was terrible supervisor buying alcohol and lap dances for A1C (who was a student under the SSgt). Members were incensed w/supervisor, rightfully so, and acquitted on everything including other offenses he was dead to rights on. If you have a scenario like that, there’s a sense of injustice in convicting and every now and then you get an apparent nullification.

  17. John O'Connor says:

    You got something against Lake Ontario?

  18. Christopher Mathews says:

    You got something against Lake Ontario?

    Blame Canada.

  19. Ama Goste says:

    Jamese777, I wholeheartedly agree with J’OC and JMTG. You rarely see jury nullification in a court-martial findings case. Now, on sentencing, with “no punishment” as the minimum sentence in most cases, your civilian friend’s words ring true.

  20. Capt. Obvious says:

    You got something against Lake Ontario?

    But only if there’s an issue for this officer with regards to race, color, gender, religion, or national origin, or an environment of unlawful discrimination and offensive behavior, it might show there is a Lac of fair treatment.

    Enter EO.

  21. Dwight Sullivan says:

    Capt Obvious, we almost never banish commentators from this blog, but that post may have provided good cause to do so. :-)

  22. Trevor says:

    Whither Yguy to tell us how this all PROVES that Lakin is innocent and the POTUS is gonna go down….;-)

  23. Capt. Obvious says:

    Tough room. ;-)

  24. Capt. Obvious says:

    Capt Obvious, we almost never banish commentators from this blog, but that post may have provided good cause to do so.

    I suppose it ranks in general with unnecessary corporal pun-ishment.

    Warning heeded.

  25. Capt. Obvious says:

    Of course, if you prefer yguy pointing out a thousand different ways why he is always right and you are always wrong without saying anything at all . . .

  26. Norbrook says:

    It’s an interesting strategy, and it might (oh, heck probably will be) used to try to mitigate or reduce some of the charges in trial. The basic obstacle is still that he was issued a ticket, and on April 12’th, he wasn’t in Fort Campbell or en route. Which does make the “missing movement” charge hard to overlook.

  27. Balkan Ghost says:

    Never charge missing movement.

    I repeat: NEVER charge missing movement!

    It is a prosecution deathtrap. If there is nothing else the government can charge, such as failure to obey and order or AWOL, there is no case.

  28. Norbrook says:

    It is a prosecution deathtrap. If there is nothing else the government can charge, such as failure to obey and order or AWOL, there is no case

    At least two specifications of failure to obey orders are in the charges. The missing movement is one of the lesser charges that they could have filed. I think the potential defense line that COL Sullivan is mentioning relates to just the missing movement charge. I’m just wondering how likely it is to stand up, given LTC Lakin’s failure to be anywhere but his previously assigned duty station on April 12’th. It’s hard to argue he missed the plane, decided to take another flight, drive, or other reasonable excuse.

  29. Dwight Sullivan says:


    Oh, how I hoped someone would post the definitive primer on multiplicity and unreasonable multiplication of charges so I wouldn’t have to revist your very good questions. Multiplicity is sort of like the gutter-cleaning project of the military justice system — yeah, I know I have to do it, but I don’t have to like it. Unfortunately, no one else climbed up the ladder to clean the gutter, so here goes.

    Let’s start with the comparatively easy part: unreasonable multiplication of charges. It’s a loosey-goosey, know-it-when-I-see-it kinda concept that is way overly formulized in this five-part test:

    (1) Did the accused object at trial that there was an unreasonable multiplication of charges and/or specifications?

    (2) Is each charge and specification aimed at distinctly separate criminal acts?

    (3) Does the number of charges and specifications misrepresent or exaggerate the appellant’s criminality?

    (4) Does the number of charges and specifications unreasonably increase the appellant’s punitive exposure?

    (5) Is there any evidence of prosecutorial overreaching or abuse in the drafting of the charges?

    See United States v. Quiroz, 55 M.J. 334, 338 (C.A.A.F. 2001).

    While the Navy-Marine Corps Court adopted a policy of reaching UMC issues on appeal even when it didn’t have to, the concept was all but extinguished from Air Force practice as the result of a result decision that said a PTA with a “waive all waivable motions” clause (as every PTA in the Air Force seems to have) kills off UMC as an appellate issue. United States v. Gladue, 67 M.J. 311 (C.A.A.F. 2009).

    NMCCA tried to kill off the phrase “multiplicity for sentencing purposes.” But CAAF wouldn’t let it, noting that the President adopted the multiplicity for sentencing phrase in the Manual for Courts-Martial. Quiroz, 55 M.J. at 339. This is another loosey-goosey concept: “Military judges have traditionally exercised the power to treat offenses as ‘multiplicious for sentencing’ in a prudent and salutary fashion.” Allrighty, then.

    Do you see what unpleasant task I’ve saved for last? Right — multiplicity.

    Just as you pointed out, SG, multiplicity has a constitutional basis in the Double Jeopardy Clause. As one fairly recent Army Lawyer article helpfully explains: “‘Multiplicity’ is ‘[t]he improper charging of the same offense in several counts ….’ Black’s Law Dictionary 1036 (7th ed. 1999) Doing so violates an accused’s protection against double jeopardy. U.S. Const. amend. V.” The tricky part is in determining what charging is “improper.”

    Here’s the test that is used to determine whether two offenses are multiplicious:

    “[W]here the same act or transaction constitutes a violation of two distinct statutory provisions, the test to be applied to determine whether there are two offenses or only one is whether each provision requires proof of an additional fact which the other does not.”

    United States v. Teters, 37 M.J. 370, 377 (C.M.A. 1993) (quoting Blockburger v. United States, 284 U.S. 299, 304 (1932)).

    In a post-Teters case, CAAF held that “Congress intended to permit separately punishing the offenses of willful disobedience and missing movement.” United States v. Morrison, 41 M.J. 482, 484 (C.A.A.F. 1995). But that doesn’t mean that such dual convictions would survive a UMC challenge.

    In an unpublished decision, ACCA has held that a conviction for both an order violation and dereliction is an unreasonable multiplication of charges. United States v. Abner, No. ARMY 9901209 (A. Ct. Crim. App. Jan. 6, 2003).

    A CAAF summary disposition suggests that the two specs alleging violations of two different orders to do the same act (report to the brigade commander) are multiplicious. United States v. Wingate, 50 M.J. 118 (C.A.A.F. 1998) (summary disposition).

    So it seems inevitable that the five specs LTC Lakin faces will be whittled down to some extent, though it isn’t possible to predict with clarity exactly how far they’ll be whittled, since application of UMC and multiplicity for sentencing is fairly subjective.

  30. sg says:

    Thank you, Sir. I look at that mess, and I think that on one hand, if the Accused was ordered to do something, the omission of which itself would be a criminal act, then screw the guy for breaking two laws at once. On the other hand, there’s a point where it stops being justice and becomes revenge. I don’t envy you gentlemen for having to split the frog hairs, but I’m glad it’s the twenty pound brains instead of guys like me dealing with it.
    FWIW, I don’t feel any particular or special animus for LTC Lakin. I DO wish he’d obeyed the law and his orders, and having failed that, that he would man up and deal with it, but I don’t take any joy in this situation at all. Nor do I wish for him to spend one day longer in the Stockade than absolutely necessary, or to suffer some other excessive or unwarranted punishment.

  31. Rob M says:

    In that case it appears the focus was on the unit. According to the MCM, if the relevant “movement” is the movement of a unit, the mode of transportation is irrelevant. But if the relevant “movement” is the journey of a plane, train, ship, automobile, etc. then the mode of transportation is important. The specification against Lakin mentions both a specific flight number and a unit, so I’m not sure which counts as the relevant “movement” that he missed (or if either one could count).

  32. Keith says:

    (1) Did the accused object at trial that there was an unreasonable multiplication of charges and/or specifications?

    (2) Is each charge and specification aimed at distinctly separate criminal acts?

    (3) Does the number of charges and specifications misrepresent or exaggerate the appellant’s criminality?

    (4) Does the number of charges and specifications unreasonably increase the appellant’s punitive exposure?

    (5) Is there any evidence of prosecutorial overreaching or abuse in the drafting of the charges?

    Good stuff. Reasonable and most importantly understandble. I have a non-military law question involving points number 2 and 4 especially.

    My question is, I know, off topic for CAAFLOG, dealing as it does with civilian law and and even (gasp) the law of nations (i.e. international law not Vattel :-) ); so feel free to ignore it if you don’t want to go down this particular rabbit hole.

    The so-called “Honeymoon Killer”, Gabe Watson’s, wife drowned in Queensland Australia during their honeymoon trip. Eventually, he was extradited from the USA, charged with and convicted of manslaughter and served 18 months in prison in Queensland.

    Alabama (Watson’s home state) wants to put him on trial for murder, a capital offense (so does California apparently). Australian law forbids extradition when the death penalty can be applied, so Queensland negotiated with Alabama to ensure that he would not be executed if found guilty (I don’t know the California details).

    Is this not an obvious case of multiplicity, double jeopardy, and even worse, no jurisdiction in Alabama? How can Alabama revisit a crime that took place in Australia, especially one that had been fully dealt with under Australian law?

    Here is a good summary of the case and the machinations going on:

  33. sg says:

    Wow. Is there such a thing as ‘international double jeopardy’?
    And how does Alabama find that they have jurisdiction? Or California?

  34. Keith says:

    That’s what I can’t figure out. Here is the link to the California story:

  35. CW4 says:

    Remember to look for the skid marks (a skunk), or lack thereof…How does a second or third jurisdiction have anything to say? Well, no doubt there is money to be made.

    As we recently learned (again) at Loggie U, the only REAL winner in legal proceedings is the lawyer.

    No offense directed to our host, who seems to be taking the time and putting forth a major effort to edumacate us unwashed masses in the methods and machinations of “military justice.” I for one appreciate it, and would want him on my side in a battle.

  36. Christopher Mathews says:

    Ordinarily, if more than one government can assert jurisdiction over the offense and the alleged offender, each has the right to hold a trial. Because they are “separate sovereigns,” the two trials do not constitute double jeopardy.

    The most famous recent example would be the trial of the officers charged in the Rodney King incident in Los Angeles. Four officers were tried by the State of California and all were acquitted (there was a hung jury on one count against one of the officers, as well). They were all tried again by the U.S. Department of justice and two, Officer Laurence Powell and Sergeant Stacey Koons, were convicted.

  37. Keith says:

    I have no problem with that. State charges for assault and Federal charges for denial of civil rights stemming from the same event would require different trials. But both of those sets of trials took place in California, where the crime was committed, and were not brought by, say Manitoba.

    The event in question here though is a suspicious death in Australia, handled under Australian law, and the perpetrator jailed in Australia for manslaughter. Now the State of Alabama wants to try the guy for murder.

    That is two trials for the same crime. The crime did not occur in Alabama

  38. Christopher Mathews says:

    That is two trials for the same crime. The crime did not occur in Alabama

    Keith, these two sentences address fundamentally different points.

    If Alabama has jurisdiction over the offense and the offender, then Alabama can try the case — even if the accused was already tried for the same crime in Australia. It may be an affront to traditional notions of fair play, but it isn’t double jeopardy.

    If Alabama doesn’t have jurisdiction, then it of course can’t try the case — even if it wasn’t tried anywhere else.

    The issue, then, is whether Alabama has jurisdiction over the crime even though it was actually committed out of state. As I understand it, the prosecutors are arguing that Watson, an Alabama resident, planned the murder while he was in Alabama. I don’t know whether that’s sufficient to give the state jurisdiction because I’m not familiar with Alabama criminal law. It doesn’t strike me as an implausible position to take, though, and if it’s correct, there’s no legal bar to a second trial.

  39. Greg says:

    Back to the original issue of this post – the charge of missing movement is written exactly as the sample charge is written in the MCM. Did that sample charge change in response to Gonzalez – perhaps to add the last phrase “with which he was required in the course of duty to move?”

    Here’s the sample specification:

    In that ____________ (personal jurisdiction data), did, (at/on board—-location), on or about ______ 20_____, through (neglect) (design) miss the mvoement of (Aircraft No. _________) (Flight _________) (the USS________ ) (Company A, 1st Battalian, 7th Infrantry) (____________) with which he/she was requried in the course of duty to move.

  40. Dwight Sullivan says:

    Greg — negative. I just grabbed a 1994 MCM off the shelf and it had the same language (“with which he/she was required in the course of duty to move”) in the sample spec.

  41. Christopher Mathews says:

    How are they ever going to prove that?

    Beats the hell out of me. I know their argument, not their proof.

  42. Greg says:

    How are they ever going to prove that? Unless he has a co-conspirator in Alabama…

    I imagine they’ll focus on the preparations he undertook while in Alabama. He, apparently, attempted to convince her to increase her life insurance coverage and name him as the beneficiary. They’re charging capital murder for pecuniary gain. So, the insurance is probably a key piece of evidence for the planning, too.

  43. Rob M says:

    Well, the Lakin spec includes the “in order to…” clause, which isn’t in the MCM. Maybe that was just extra words, or maybe that was a way to include a reference to a unit (and thus avoid the problems with mode-of-transportation that we’ve been discussing).