CAAFlog » Court-Martial News » Lt Col Wilkerson

Here is LA Times coverage of the murder of a soldier at JBLM by five fellow soldiers:

Three soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state have been arrested in connection with the stabbing death of another soldier and police said they are no longer investigating the killing as a hate crime as race does not appear to be the motive, authorities said Monday.

The three soldiers were booked into the Pierce County Jail on Monday and are being held in connection with the killing of Tevin Geike, 20, the Lakewood Police Department said in a statement emailed to reporters. Formal charges are pending.

Three suspects were identified as: Jeremiah Hill, 23; Cedarium Johnson, 21; and Ajoni Runnion-Bareford, 21. The trio were active-duty soldiers assigned to a combat infantry unit. The victim was also an active-duty Lewis-McChord soldier, assigned to a combat aviation unit, officials said.

Originally, police had said that the slain soldier, who was white, had been killed in what was being investigated as a racially motivated attack by five black men.

Here is coverage of the USNA rape case that may be headed to court-martial after US Dstrict Judge Ellen Hollander abstained from intervening in the case, coverage here

After much bruhaha, Lieutenant Colonel James Wilkerson–of Art. 60, UCMJ fame–will retire this week, and possibly as Major reports Stars and Stripes here.

AP reports on the militia related murder by a Ft. Stewart soldier here:

A Georgia soldier accused of funding an anti-government militia group with insurance money from his pregnant wife’s death will face a court-martial on charges that he killed her.

Fort Stewart spokesman Kevin Larson said Wednesday commanders decided to try Pvt. Isaac Aguigui on charges of premeditated murder after reviewing evidence from a July preliminary hearing. Prosecutors say the soldier’s pregnant wife, Sgt. Deirdre Aguigui, was bound with handcuffs when she died from lack of oxygen, likely from being choked, in July 2011.

Agugui already has one LWOP sentence from a civilian court for the murder of a defector from his militia group and could get another at court-martial, the case was not referred capitally.
H/t Zee

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.

From Stripes, here:

The Air Force plans to investigate an allegation that fighter pilot Lt. Col. James Wilkerson, whose sexual assault conviction was overturned by a lieutenant general in part because the general believed Wilkerson was an upstanding husband and officer, had an extramarital affair in 2004 with a woman who says she subsequently gave birth to his baby, according to an email obtained by Stars and Stripes.

The planned Air Force investigation follows an allegation made by the woman, who says she and Wilkerson had a brief affair in Utah and that he fathered her child. She told Stars and Stripes in a phone interview that she and Wilkerson were intimate only once, after being introduced by mutual friends.

H/t OFL

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.

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.

Here’s a link to Michael Doyle’s article on congressiional consideration of whether to amend the UCMJ in the wake of Lieutenant General Franklin’s disapproval of the findings in United States v. Wilkerson.

Here is a link to a statement Frank Spinner’s released about yesterday’s hearings on sexual assault in the military and convening authority powers in light of the clemency granted to his client, LTC Wilkerson. H/t OFL.

Here’s a video of a report on the Today Show including an interview with Kimberly Hanks, the complaining witness in the Lt Col Wilkerson case.  A transcript of the story, reported by Michael Isikoff, is available here.

Here’s a Balkinization post by Yale Law School Professor Gene Fidell on the congressional response to Lieutenant General Franklin disapproving the conviction in United States v. LTC Wilkerson.

Here’s a link to a piece by McClatchy’s Michael Doyle and Marisa Taylor on the response by various members of Congress to Lieutenant General Franklin’s disapproval of the convictions in Lieutenant Colonel Wilkerson’s case.  Tha article indicates that on Wednesday, “Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif.” will introduce legislation “which would strip away a commander’s ability to dismiss convictions.”

Here’s an interesting post on 31(b)log about Senator McCaskill’s reaction to Lieutenant General Franklin setting aside the conviction in Lieutenant Colonel Wilkerson’s case. Be sure to read LtCol Winklosky’s insightful points in his comment to the post.

As a number of our alert readers have noted, Senators Boxer (D-Cal.) and Shaheen (D-N.H.) sent this letter to Secretary of Defense Hagel calling for him to take steps in response to Lieutenant General Franklin’s disapproval of the conviction of Lieutenant Colonel Wilkerson.

They ask Secretary Hagel whether he can reverse the disapproval.  This Air Force Times article quotes Yale Law Professor Gene Fidell providing this succinct answer:  “Clemency ‘is a done deal. This is final.’”  They also urge SECDEF, “in the strongest possible terms, to take immediate steps to restrict Convening Authorities from unilaterally dismissing military court decisions.” But, of course, Congress gave CAs that power in Article 60(c).  They also ask Secretary Hagel to “work with us as we consider additional legislative options.”  We’ll be on the alert for bills doing away with convening authority’s Article 60(c) authority to disapprove the findings of a court-martial.

As is being discussed in comments, here is a link to the Stars and Stripes article about the CA’s decision in United States v. Wilkerson.  Our prior coverage of the verdict and sentence is here and here.  Some snippets in the Stripes story:

Wilkerson’s accuser said she was “stunned.”

“I was assaulted. I reported it. I endured the public humiliation and the end result is that it was all for nothing,” she said in a statement.

She said she thought that the reversal would have a negative impact on people’s willingness to report assaults and that it “smacks of cronyism, a good old boys network among the elite of the Air Force.

“Would the Lt. General’s decision been the same if Wilkerson had been enlisted or not a pilot?” she said.

. . . .

But critics of the military response to sexual assault said they were not surprised by Franklin’s decision to dismiss the case.

“It’s a classic example of the broken military justice system,” said Nancy Parrish, president of Protect Our Defenders, an advocacy and support organization for military sexual assault victims.. “It’s absolute command discretion over the rule of law.”

. . . .

“It’s a system full of command bias and conflict of interest,” Parrish said. “The culture is still about blaming the victim and punishing the victim. Until you remove inherent bias and conflicts of interest, justice will not be served.”

Additional coverage here (Air Force Times).

Lots o’ military justice news, but not a lot o’ No Man time.  Alright, here we go.  The short, short version. (Do you? Yes. Do you? Yes. Good. You’re married. Kiss her!)

  • SSGT Bales hearing updates:  Here (KING 5 News, the accused’s wife’s perspective), here (Seattle Times), here (LA Times).
  • SGT Hurst court-martial in PVT Chen suicide:  Here and here (Fayetteville Observer).
  • Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair Art. 32 hearing:  Here (Marine Corps Times) and here (ABC News)
  • Lt. Col. James H. Wilkerson, former Aviano IG, sentenced in his court-martial:  Here (Air Force Times).
  • MAJ Nidal Hasan and Ft. Hood shooting victims:  Here (Reuters, victims sue DoD) and here (AP via FoxNews).

DoD Sexual Assault Response
More on sexual assault cases in the military from the NYT (here).

PVT Chen Suicide Case Starts Monday
The court-martial of SGT Jeffrey Hurst begins Monday reports the Fairbanks News-Miner, here. Hurst is the latest soldier court-martialed for hazing and maltreatment related offenses that prosecutors say led to PVT Chen taking his life while deployed in Afghanistan.

Court-Martial of Former Aviano AFB IG Drama
Stripes has the full report of yesterday’s testimony in the court-martial of LTC James Wilkerson, here. Wilkerson, an F-16 pilot and former IG at Aviano, is accused of sexually assaulting a female house guest. Yesterday’s proceedings included a one star and a couple motions for dismissal based on unlawful command influence.

Lackland Instructor Cases Continue
Today brings an Art. 32 for another Air Force instructor from Lackland, see AfTimes report here.

Gitmo Prosecutors Use Courts-Martial as Example for No Televised Commission Hearings
The Miami Herald reports, here, that prosecutors said commission hearings follow courts-martial, and should not be televised. But why couldn’t a court-martial be televised? What about televising the. MAJ Hasan trial?