LTC Lakin now stands convicted of one specification of missing movement in violation of Article 87, UCMJ, and three specifications of failure to obey lawful orders in violation of Article 92.
Sentencing proceedings are underway.
Update: Colonel Sullivan reports that after receiving the answers to their inquiries (reported in the previous liveblogging entry), the members deliberated for twelve more minutes before returning their verdict. The court-martial moved immediately to sentencing.
The prosecution played in its entirety LTC Lakin’s YouTube video announcing his plans to refuse to deploy. At the conclusion of the tape, the birthers in the audience stood and gave sustained applause. The military judge did not gavel the court to order; she simply let them finish. I am reasonably certain that their outburst will not count against the accused; but in no way could it have helped.
The prosecution called Colonel Roberts, the brigade commander and MOH recipient, to the stand as their first live witness. He testified that the accused’s behavior was unprofessional and had a negative impact on the unit. Cross examination was limited and, according to Colonel Sullivan, “didn’t really go anywhere.”
MAJ Dobson, the doctor who had to replace LTC Lakin on short notice, testified next. He recounted how two days after arriving in theatre, the unit suffered a mass-casualty attack, with sixteen wounded. He said that he was not, in his opinion, as well-prepared to deal with the attack as he would have been had he had longer to prepare for operations at the FOB. The defense suggested on cross that the deployment was probably a good career opportunity for the major personally. Another point which will likely not go over well.
The next witness was MAJ Dobson’s wife, herself a combat veteran, who testified that she and her husband had to forego some coursework they had planned to take together, and that as a result of his short-notice deployment, he missed the award ceremony in which she was awarded the Bronze Star. She also testified about how hard it was to prepare their young son for his dad’s sudden and unexpected departure.
Sentencing resumed at 1545. So far, not a good day for the accused.
Note: During sentencing deliberations, the members may each propose a sentence. The sentences are then voted on in ascending order — i.e., from the most lenient to the most severe. Once a proposed sentence receives at least a 2/3-rds vote, that becomes the sentence of the court. There are different rules in capital cases and cases in which the possibility of confinement exceeds ten years, but those rules don’t apply here.
There are eight members of the court-martial. To reach the two-thirds threshold requires six votes.