The court-martial of Army Brigadier General Sinclair resumes this morning. Last week the General pleaded guilty to offenses carrying a maximum of 15 years confinement. The Government then proceeded to trial with the most serious offenses, including multiple charges of sexual assaults. On Friday, the Government’s star witness – an unnamed female Army captain – began her testimony (significant details in this AP story), and cross-examination is expected to begin today. But first the Defense will reopen the issue of UCI, with a newly filed motion to dismiss the case:
Citing newly received Army emails, lawyers for Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair on Sunday night renewed their claims of Army command interference in the general’s sexual assault prosecution and asked the military judge to reconsider his refusal to drop the charges.
In a motion submitted the night before Sinclair’s accuser, an Army captain, is scheduled to be cross-examined at Ft. Bragg, N.C., defense lawyers referred to an email by a senior Army legal officer expressing concerns that the accuser lied on the stand at a preliminary hearing in January.
The motion cites an email from an Army legal advisor to Lt. Gen. Anderson. The email refers to a letter the accuser’s special victim’s advocate wrote to Anderson. The advocate wrote that accepting Sinclair’s plea “would have an adverse affect on my client and the Army’s fight against sexual assault.’’
The legal advisor, Lt. Col. Jerrett Dunlap, wrote Dec. 18 that he had just met with Lt. Gen. Anderson, who agreed that the Army could not accept the plea offer. “The letter made [it] an easy decision,’’ Dunlap wrote.
In other news, the Army Times has this story about why you shouldn’t dodge colors, and if you do dodge colors why you shouldn’t brag about it on social media.
Reader “M” informed me of this Coast Guard news release about Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Bob Papp’s final State of the Coast Guard address:
“I have no greater responsibility than to ensure no Coast Guardsman ever has to experience the devastation of sexual assault at the hands of someone they thought was a shipmate,” he said. Papp also emphasized that if a victim believes their case is not being addressed, “they can email me. I’m in the global directory. It will be taken care of.”
Finally, reader “D” sent me this ABC News story about a former soldier facing a federal capital murder trial that is about to begin in Hawaii:
Talia Emoni Williams died in July 2005 after she was brought to a hospital unresponsive, vomiting and covered in bruises. A criminal complaint by federal investigators accuses her then-25-year-old father [Naeem Williams] of beating the child to discipline her for urinating on herself. Federal investigators wrote that military law enforcement agents found blood splatters in the walls of the family’s home at Wheeler Army Airfield from Talia being whipped with Williams’ belt.
Delilah Williams, Talia’s stepmother, was also charged with murder but pleaded guilty in a deal with prosecutors. She’s expected to be sentenced to 20 years in prison after she testifies against Williams at his trial, said her federal public defender, Alexander Silvert.
The Army agreed the case should be prosecuted in the civilian justice system so that the father and stepmother could appear in the same court.