Colonel Sullivan is en route to Fort Meade for this morning’s resumption of the Lakin court-martial. Trial is scheduled to start again at 0900. The prosecution has rested; next up is the defense.
Mr. Puckett did not tip his hand yesterday regarding his strategy. There may be a motion for a finding of not guilty, although the odds of success on such a motion seemed to decline with yesterday’s testimony. The defense could rest without presenting evidence or may put the accused on the stand. Rebuttal and surrebuttal, if any, will be determined by the scope of the defense case. Barring the out of the ordinary, presentation of evidence on findings should wrap up this morning.
Next, Judge Lind will discuss instructions with counsel out of the presence of the members. If the contested charge has survived motions, they’ll discuss findings instructions and — because there will be a sentencing phase regardless of how the contested charge is resolved — may cover some sentencing matters as well. If there is still a contested charge, the members will be brought back to the courtroom, counsel will give findings argument, and the members will then retire to deliberate. Sentencing will follow their verdict; the members will likely hear an unsworn statement from LTC Lakin and there may be witness testimony as well.
We’ll have updates from the colonel as events warrant.
If you missed RealityCheck’s interview last night with Colonel Sullivan, retired CDR Phil Cave (whose rank I inadvertently omitted in previous posts — mea culpa), and Fogbow blogger Mata Mari, you can still find it online here: blogtalkradio.
0945: Update from the colonel: the defense rested without presenting any evidence.
The defense team has asked that the members be instructed on the lesser-included offense of failure to go under Article 86, and has waived any issue as to whether it is a proper LIO of missing movement. Judge Lind has not decided whether to give the instruction. The court-martial will resume at 1030 hours.
One other note: Pastor Manning, one of the birthers attending the trial, left the courtroom escorted by security and has not returned. No word on what prompted his departure.
1345: Closing arguments have been completed. According to Colonel Sullivan, the defense did not argue for a full acquittal on the missing movement charge, but instead contended that LTC Lakin is guilty only of the lesser included offense of failure to go to his appointed place of duty, in violation of Article 86. The maximum punishment for the LIO is one month versus two years for missing movment by design under Article 87.
The members, after a brief deliberation, returned to the court to make four requests, seeking: 1) evidence concerning the dates of the accused’s pre-deployment leave; 2) the leave form; 3) the date on which the accused’s replacement reported to the unit; and 4) a definition of the term “required” as used in the Article 87 spec.
The court is on recess and will reconvene at 1400.
1530: Guilty as charged.