AP (via WaPo) reports (though the FBI already knew this), here, that Marine Corps Captain James Clement will face charges of dereliction of duty and conduct unbecoming an officer for failing to stop Marines that filmed themselves urinating on the corpses of insurgents in Afghanistan.
A military judge found SSGT John Russell guilty of pre-meditated murder yesterday, AP (via WaPo) coverage here and Tacome News-Tribune coverage here. Sentencing to determine whether Russell will be sentenced to life (with possibility of parole) or LWOP begins this week.
Judge to hear a dozen motions in BGEN Sinclair court-martial this week reports the Fayetteville Observer, here. The four day hearing features multiple UCI claims. Trial is currently scheduled for June 25, 2013.
Life or LWOP, that is the question and the only question in the Russell court-martial. Coverage here (AP via Seattle Times) and here (LA Times).
Next hearing in the MAJ Hasan, Ft. Hood shootings court-martial is scheduled for May 9, 2013. On the agenda a motion for continuance to Sep. 2013 and a request for appointment of a media analysis expert.
The PFC Manning court-martial is inching towards trial with a closed session being held Wednesday, for what is being called a dry run of the trial, coverage here (HuffPost).
A general court-martial at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson will hear testimony on involuntary manslaughter and negligent homicide charges against Ar,y SPC Marshall Drake, SF Chronicle coverage here. The charge stem from a Christmas Day barracks shooting of another soldier. The incident led the CG at JBER to ban alcohol in the barracks.
PFC Kimberly Rivera, who fled to Canada before a second deployment to Iraq, was sentenced to ten months confinement and a BCD after pleading guilty at her court-martial yesterday reports the Colorado Springs Gazette, here. WaPo coverage here.
I haven’t commented on the hunger strike at Gitmo, but now that the AMA has raised questions about force feeding, I wonder if there is a legal challenge coming? Coverage here (Reuters) and here. H/t DefenseNews EB.
Another GO that set aside a sexual assault conviction has promotion held up, her name is LTG Susan Helms, USAF, see Yahoo News coverage here. Nice article at Air Force Times, here, on the case and CA clemency power. H/t Lieber.
Commandant removes OCS CO after murder suicide involving three staff members. Marine Corps times coverage here. H/t GGH
More coverage of the Marine Corps staff sergeant that alleged sexual assault and was convicted of attempted adultery and a false official statement relating to her alleged attempt to cover-up the attempted adultery. Coverage of her sentencing from the LA Times here.
From local news reports of another Lackland MTI case:
Staff Sgt. Hudson was found guilty of having an adulterous and unprofessional relationship that began in basic training, and continued on while the Airman was in technical training at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston.
Hudson was also found guilty of maltreating eight basic military trainees, making a false official statement and obstruction of justice.
Military judge, Col. Donald Eller, Jr., sentenced Hudson to five months confinement, reduction to the grade of E-2 (Airman) and a bad conduct discharge.
One USAFA sexual assault trial begins and another is dismissed before referral. Colorado Springs Gazette coverage here and here.
Lots o’ news, not much time, here is the Readers’ Digest version:
The military judge in the Bales case is hearing motions here (Reuters).
Sgt. Bobby Bass makes his case in another Lackland MTI case, here (McClatchy).
Female Marine is on trial for adultery and false statements for a sexual encounter in which she allegedly falsely claimed rape, here (San Fran Chron), pleads not guilty. H/t KF
Here is Yahoo News coverage of the plea of SPC William Millay at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson on espionage charges. Millay you’ll recall from earlier coverage, here, was charged with attempting to pass US secrets to an FBI agent posing as a Russian spy. Former MC lawyer Charlie Swift was Millay’s counsel.
The first female MTI now faces charges relating to the Lackland mess, Air Force Times coverage, here, reports that “Staff Sgt. Emily Allen is charged with having an unprofessional relationship.”
More Lackland MTI cases here (McClatchy). This one another first, the first Lackland training related court held outside of San Antonio. This one is for an AF SSGT at Keesler AFB; charges include assault and wrongful sexual contact.
The SGT John Russell murder trial begins some time this month. But the La Times reports, here, that, “this week,attorneys are negotiating a plea agreement that would take the death penalty off the table,but still allow the defense to argue that the Army’s mental health system drove Russell to commit the killings.” A court martial will hear some of the chilling facts outlined in the story:
“For the last two days I have been in hell,” Russell wrote in a May 6,2009,email to his wife. “I am left feeling so terrible you could just never know. These people are not good people,and I think that I am going a little crazy.”
Five days later,Russell seized a colleague’s Ford Explorer and M-16 rifle and returned to the clinic he’d left about an hour before. He fatally shot four mental health workers and patients before aiming his weapon over a filing cabinet at Sgt. Christian Bueno-Galdos,who was hiding behind it,prosecutors say.
“Oh,God,” Bueno-Galdos screamed as Russell laughed softly —an “evil chuckle,” one survivor called it —and then allegedly aimed a bullet through the sergeant’s right eyebrow
From Navy Times, here–PG-13 Rated Post:
With the release of the report Friday, the Navy hopes to close the chapter on the unsightly spectacle of strike group leaders feuding on a deployment to the Persian Gulf over allegations that turn on erratic ship-driving through a strait, private conversations about race between senior officers, a “Foc’sle Follies” skit, and lines from the 1974 Mel Brooks movie “Blazing Saddles.”
The IG report referenced that comedy to assess the email Gaouette sent Oct. 5 to “six white senior members of strike group leadership,” it said. Gaouette took a photo of a black flight deck sailor with a refueling probe between his legs.
“I believe this speaks for itself,” Gaouette wrote in the email, insinuating that the “refueling probe was a giant penis emanating from the sailor,” as the report put it.
“I see a photo contest. First up: It’s twoo, its twoo,” Gaouette wrote in a follow-up. Those lines reference a scene in “Blazing Saddles” when a white woman with a German accent exclaims, “Oh, it’s twoo” after a black character reveals in a dark room that he has a large penis.
Prior coverage here.
The Air Force’s FOIA Electronic Reading Room now includes a redacted copy of the 1090-page trial transcript from United States v. Wilkerson here. The defense’s clemency package and a video of Lt Col Wilkerson’s interrogation by OSI are also available on the page.
The NY Times has coverage of yesterday’s hearing in the PFC Bradley Manning case, here. In addition to the ruling we blogged about yesterday, here, that permitted evidence from the Bin Laden compound raid to be introduced, Judge Lind also ruled that the government charged Manning under the second Espionage Act section that requires proof of reason to believe the information released will be us3d against the US. That is a higher burden than the government had asked for (the first clause of the Espionage Act only requires willful release). Judge Lind also imposed new constraints on media covering the case after a recording of Manning’s statement during the providence hearing made its way to the internet. Additional coverage from WaPo here.
Thanks to an alert reader for calling our attention to this link to Lieutenant General Franklin’s memo to the Secretary of the Air Force explaining why he set aside the findings in the case of Lieutenant Colonel Wilkerson.
The memo is also posted on the Air Force FOIA electronic reading room web page here.
Recent reports of military members involved in shootings around the country. Seems like we are hearing more about these. Here an Army Staff Sergeant involved in recruiting a local Rockville girl shot and killed the student and himself. Another Army NCO shot and killed a civilian employee at Ft. Knox last week, Army Times here (h/t MLM). Is there anything to be said for combat stress and these incidents?
And not recent and not related to my theme, but the trial of four Marines in the brutal killing of a fellow Marine and his wife at Camp Pendleton began in California yesterday, NY Daily News report here. While the accused are innocent until proven guilty, the circumstantial evidence points to this just being a brutal, inhuman crime.
Here is an article from the LA Times on the 2011 Pineda case and the related death of a witness in the case:
Pineda, a seaman from Barstow, Calif., training as a Navy SEAL, spent three months in jail for sexual assault. Antonacci, a 22-year-old ordnance disposal trainee from Long Island, N.Y., was threatened with prosecution. The case didn’t go far: Antonacci’s body was found hanging in a closet, his nose bleeding, his face and back bruised. . . .
Pineda is living now in Arizona. An appeals court reversed his conviction in 2011, ruling that there was evidence the woman hadn’t told the truth and that Pineda might have thought she consented. The Navy declined to retry the case, and Pineda won an honorable discharge and back pay. Still, he said he wants the Navy to answer for what he and Antonacci went through.
Our prior coverage here and NMCCA opinion here. H/t KF