Ehlers continues.  In Ehlers v. United States, NMCCA  20080019 (N. M. Ct. Crim. App. 27 Dec 2011)(unpublished op.).   The petition was filed pro se.  Under CAAF rules he has 20 days from the date of service on him to submit a writ appeal petition to CAAF.  See CAAF Rule  27(b).

The NMCCA summarizes the history of the case as follows.

In June 2009, this court affirmed the findings and sentence.  United States v. Ehlers, No. 200800190, 2009 CCA LEXIS 229, unpublished op. (N.M.Ct.Crim.App. 30 Jun 2009).  In April 2010, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces denied the petitioner’s petition for grant of review.  United States v. Ehlers, 69 M.J. 89 (C.A.A.F. 2010).  The Supreme Court denied a writ of certiorari.  Ehlers v. United States, 131 S. Ct. 536 (2010).  Direct appellate review is complete.

The petitioner now seeks extraordinary relief from this court in the form of a writ of habeas corpus[.]

NMCCA denied the present writ.

On his first appeal Petitioner asserted:

The appellant alleges five assignments of error:  (1) that the evidence is legally and factually insufficient to support the findings of guilty to sodomy and indecent liberties with a child; (2) that the appellant “was
prejudiced before and during the trial by the military’s misconduct” in the form of ineffective assistance of counsel, prosecutorial misconduct, and unlawful command influence; (3) that the offenses alleged constitute an unreasonable multiplication of charges; (4) that the sodomy, assault, and indecent liberties charges are multiplicious; and (5) that the appellant’s adjudged sentence of confinement for 25 years is “unduly disproportionate.”

The family blog indicates that:In April, Edwin filed for Habeas Corpus in the Federal District Court of Southern California.  (And also this rather provocative post, “Today is the last day the Government has to respond to my 40 million dollar lawsuit for Edwin’s wrongful conviction.”)

To go back to the current case — The petitioner now seeks extraordinary relief from this court in the form of a writ of habeas corpus claiming:

(1) the charges and specifications under Article 134 failed to state an offense in light of United States v. Fosler, 70 M.J. 225 (C.A.A.F. 2011); (2) the petitioner’s Sixth Amendment speedy trial rights were violated by the delay between the first allegations of misconduct and the trial; (3) the military judge abused his authority by failing to dismiss the charges because the petitioner’s right against self-incrimination was violated by a special agent interrogating the petitioner; (4) the prosecution withheld exculpatory evidence at trial; (5) the military judge’s findings were ambiguous; (6) the Naval Criminal
Investigative Service (NCIS) failed to follow established directives by failing to report the allegations at issue to the Family Advocacy Program (FAP); and (7) an NCIS special agent tampered with evidence.

See prior CAAFLog posting here; in particular Dwight “My Liege” Sullivan’s post that there was no SCOTUS jurisdiction over the cert petition, and the rather interesting comments to the post.  There has been an ethics concern over the years about lawyers ghostwriting pro se petitions and filings.  See e.g., this ABA Journal item.   Some jurisdictions seem to require a note that an attorney assisted prepare the brief.  See e.g., this ABA Journal item.

Here is a link to “Military Injustice” about this case.  A post dated 19 September 2011 indicates that White light Productions has agreed to do a story on Edwin and his wrongful conviction by the Marine Corps.  Filming will begin in October.  According to the blog, “The trailer for Edwin’s story is at:”

5 Responses to “Ehlers in the NMCCA, again”

  1. Who's your daddy says:

    I wonder if before breaking open their checkbook, the movie producers bothered to read the 2009 NMCCA opinion that summarizes the facts.  Assuming the partial admissions were not “admissible at trial,” then your left with a close case, but still enough evidence to convict beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Public opinion is not limited by rules of evidence and the public is perfectly justified and free to consider the statements and admissions that “he did masturbate to the point of ejaculation in front of the 4-year old and did spank her on her buttocks.”  Combine that with the factually persuasive testimony of two victims and you can only conclude that the trial court, and two appellate courts got it right.  

    Any shock that some family members or the accused are crying foul after a 25 year sentence (reduced to 19 by the Convening Authority)??

    Sad day for the USMC that Hollywood has chosen this story.  Imagine all the acts of selfless courage over the last decade and Hollywood picks this story to tell.  It is not a surprise, but it sure is a disgrace. 

  2. Dwight Sullivan says:

    The United States District Court for the Southern District of California dismissed Ehlers’ case in October in this order:  Ehlers v. United States, No. 11cv882 (S.D. Cal. Oct. 6, 2011).  I checked the United States District Court for the District of Kansas’s PACER site and it doesn’t appear that an action was filed in that court. 

  3. Brian le Chien says:

    I’m not so sure any movie will be forthcoming.  First, what production company decides to make a movie in September, and starts filming in October – one month later.  The “trailor” seems to be a collection of various USMC footage (including Marine 1), without any narritive.  Looks more like a video that someone paid to be produced.  The description of the “film” seems to be a narritive stripped right from the blog.

    As others who have commented, I of course have no first hand knowledge of what the truth is.  However, when the Elher’s familly keeps portraying that his trial was unfair because he was tried and sentenced by a single judge,  without mentioning that was only because he ELECTED to be tried by a military judge, they lose all credibility.

    With 16+ years remaining,  CAAFlog may be seeing this story for several years yet…

  4. Agnela Ehlers says:

    First, I would like to point out that I am Edwin Ehlers’ wife. I understand that when looking at cases from the courts, you rely heavily in your comments as to what the courts choose to print in their decision not necessarily what was submitted to them.  With that out of the way, I’d like to give you a little background. 
    The information that was presented to NMCCA proves my husband did not receive a fair trial, was convicted based on the wavering testimony of the alleged victim and on other numerous errors of law. 
    The government destroyed evidence, NCIS agents admitted to tampering with evidence at trial, the alleged victim herself admitted on camera that she was coached in her allegations but refused to name the person who coached her and there was a witness who was not allowed to testify at trial by the government (and DDC did not call her as a witness for the defense), because she witnessed the alleged victim’s mother tell the child it was my husband who committed this act.  This particular statement is in NCIS documents.  Documents that were withheld from the defense and only discovered after the conviction. 
    Government counsel, vouched for the witnesses credibility (which they are NOT allowed to do) and evidence, barred under Mil. R. Evid.  707(a) was admitted erroneously by the I.O. at the Art. 32 hearing.  Also they preferred charges for trial in June 2004, retracted the charges in August 2004 because Edwin was deployed to Iraq and then preferred charges again in February 2005 but did not bring Edwin to trial until August 2007.  This would be a violation of R.C.M. 707, would it not?  The accused must be brought to trial within 120 days of the first preferral of charges. 
    I almost forgot to mention that the C.A. did not take action on this case until 182 days had passed, which is a violation of Moreno (Holdings from Barker v. Wingo) that states the C.A. action MUST take place within 120 of conviction. 
    The alleged victim herself told the judge that this all occurred on the same day, not a 14 month time frame the Government alleged.  So when the alleged victim herself stated it was only one day, the military judge is required to make the clarification on record as to which day she was referring to.  Needless to say, he failed according to R.C.M. 922(d).  By not making this required clarification, the courts can’t review the case under Art 66 or it’s called DOUBLE JEOPARDY (U.S. v. Augspurger).
    As far as the filming, we are actually going to start next month.  After I presented all the evidence to the producer, he was very excited to get Edwin and I on camera since this case will garner national attention once all the facts are presented and high-ranking military officials are named.  We have also made numerous contacts to the military asking them if they would like to defend their stance on Edwin’s conviction, since they are adamant they have done nothing wrong.  They have yet to comment.  Silence is no longer the golden rule in this case.  We proceed as planned.  The days of the “good ol’ boys” party in the military justice system are numbered as I intend to name several high-ranking military officials whom have known about this wrongful conviction and yet done nothing to correct it.
    Should you feel the need to write further about Edwin (and by the way, thanks for the blog site plug.  The traffic is always welcome J) you may feel free to contact me at and I will be happy to provide you with the documentation submitted to CAAF court.

  5. Agnela Ehlers says:

    Oh, and clarification to Who’s your daddy:  There was only 1 alleged victim and her statements are inconsistent.  It was even discovered that her father, a religious program specialist in the Navy lied about taking his child to the naval hospital to seek treatment after hearing the allegations against Edwin.  He stated to NCIS and the court that he took the alleged victim to the hospital, spoke to staff memebers and was denied treatment AFTER he signed her into the E.R. and waited in an exam room for several hours.  The F.A.P. (DoDD 6400.1) was contacted by Edwin’s former attorney and guess what??  The hospital has no record of the visit at all.  I bet you didn’t read any of that in the NMCCA decisions, did you?  Because they did not comment on everything that was submitted.

    Also while reading the 2009 denial by NMCCA did you also read the dissent from Judge Maksym?  If not, I can tell you that once a judge (military or not) makes note of the fact that appellant’s right to a speedy trial have been violated, the conviction cannot stand (Strunk v. United States).  It doesn’t matter whether it was one judge who made this notation or all three.  Now I am sure you are aware that the lower federal courts must abide by decisions of the Supreme Court, even if they think the judges were off their rocker in the decision issued (Hutto v. Davis 1982), because our wonderful judicial system in the United States relies heavily on the fact that the Courts decision on a case should be “consistent with prior judicial rulings”.   

     I also forgot to mention that NCIS Special Agents admitted to violating Edwin’s Miranda rights, which is not inadmissable by the courts as stated by the judges at NMCCA.  You can not read someone their rights, and when they request an attorney, continue to interrogate them until the duty driver arrives.  NCIS Agents did this to Edwin, although the actual statement was somehow “ommitted” from the verbatim record of trial, the judge acknowledges the statement made by NCIS at the end of the trial.  Now one the lawsuit was filed and this was brought to the attention of the government in early 2011, they destroyed the recordings from the court-martial.  We were told, after requesting them numerous times, that these recordings did not exist.  The person who told Edwin’s attorney was the S.J.A. to the C.A. in this case.

    So yes, his rights have been more than violated.  The USMC pretty much told my husband to “bend over and take it anyway we hand it out” because they believe they can do whatever they want.  So again, form your own opinions as to what you believe.  If you want facts and documented proof about everything I have said in my comments, feel free to contact me I have records of everything.  Every letter sent, every person spoken to, and every letter recieved from the CMC to the prosecuting attorney.  I am always happy to share and have made that more than clear to the Judge Advocate General’s office on several occasions.