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Court Martials

May 6, 2013 | By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. - Army Sgt. John Russell opened fire on U.S. mental health workers at a combat stress center in Iraq out of revenge after doctors said he was not eligible to leave the Army, prosecutors said Monday at the opening of Russell's court-martial on charges of premeditated murder. Five U.S. servicemen were shot to death at the Camp Liberty clinic in 2009. The defense claims that Russell suffered from chronic stress and mental illness that flamed into a psychotic fury.
January 22, 2013 | By David Zucchino, Los Angeles Times
FT. BRAGG, N.C. - Lawyers for an Army general accused of sexual misconduct with female officers under his command sought Tuesday to remove the prosecution team from his court-martial for possessing emails protected by lawyer-client privilege. In a defense motion, a military judge was asked to disqualify four military prosecutors because emails from Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair to his lawyers, wife and pastor inadvertently ended up in prosecution hands. Those communications enjoy protected legal status and are not to be viewed by prosecutors.
January 22, 2013 | By David Zucchino
FORT BRAGG N.C. -- Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair, a veteran of five tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, deferred entering a plea to criminal charges including sexual misconduct at his court-martial Tuesday. In a rare case of an active-duty general charged with criminal offenses, Sinclair decided not to enter a plea at his arraignment hearing. After he deferred the plea, the defense moved to sanction prosecutors for having privileged e-mails. The general is accused of 25 specific violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice between October 2007 and March 2012.
January 21, 2013 | By David Zucchino
In a rare case of an active-duty general charged with criminal offenses, a brigadier general at Ft. Bragg, N.C., is scheduled to face a court-martial Tuesday on charges of forcible sodomy, sexual misconduct and compelling female officers to perform sex acts. Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair, a veteran of five tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, is accused of conducting improper sexual relationships with subordinate female officers and a civilian. Prosecutors say he forced a female captain to engage in sex and threatened to kill the officer and her family if she told anyone.
January 12, 2013
After ruling last week that Army Pfc. Bradley Manning was subjected to overly restrictive confinement at a Marine Corps brig, a military judge postponed proceedings in Manning's court-martial until June. The Army should use that delay to consider a plea arrangement in which the accused leaker of vast amounts of classified information would receive significant prison time but not the life sentence associated with the most serious charge against him. Manning, a 25-year-old former intelligence analyst in Iraq, has been accused of providing WikiLeaks with more than 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables and thousands of military field reports from Iraq and Afghanistan.
November 7, 2012 | By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. - Military prosecutors Wednesday painted a picture of increasing frustration for Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales - passed over for promotion at work, unhappy with his family - in the weeks before he allegedly killed 16 civilians in a middle-of-the-night shooting rampage in southern Afghanistan. Questioning one of Bales' closest Army friends, 1st Sgt. Vernon Bigham, prosecutor Lt. Col. Joseph Morse repeatedly asked about Bales' expressions of unhappiness about much of his life, including the strict rules of engagement that prevented his unit from being "aggressive" with Afghans and his strong belief that he should have been promoted to sergeant first class just before the March 11 killings.
November 6, 2012 | By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. - American troops heard sporadic gunfire coming from the Afghan village of Alkozai for more than half an hour but failed to act on it, learning later that at least four people were shot to death, allegedly by a U.S. Army staff sergeant, several soldiers testified Tuesday. Two guards stationed on the roof of the operations center at Camp Belambay southwest of Kandahar said they used thermal imaging in an attempt to trace the gunfire and shot up a flare to illuminate the empty farm fields, at which point the sound of the shooting stopped.
July 25, 2012 | By David Zucchino
FT. BRAGG, N.C. - Who is responsible for the death of Pvt. Danny Chen? Was it solely Chen himself, by a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his isolated desert base in Afghanistan? Or did his fellow soldiers hound Chen to his death at age 19 - kicking the Chinese American soldier, hitting him with rocks and shaming him with racial slurs? Those questions will be probed this week at Ft. Bragg, where the first court-martial opened Tuesday in connection with Chen's apparent suicide on Oct. 3. The Army says Chen killed himself by a single shot under his chin in a guard tower at a combat outpost in rural Kandahar Province.
July 16, 2012 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
HOUSTON -- Court-martial proceedings began Monday at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio for Staff Sgt. Luis Walker, accused of sexually assaulting 10 female trainees. Walker is among a dozen instructors investigated in the sex scandal at Lackland, one of the nation's busiest military training centers. His court-martial is considered the "cornerstone case," according to the Associated Press, with Walker facing the most serious charges. Among the 28 counts against him are charges of rape, aggravated sexual contact and multiple counts of aggravated sexual assault.
July 10, 2012 | By Kim Murphy
After a hearing in which military lawyers debated to what extent soldiers can be held accountable for split-second decisions in the heat of combat, a ruling on whether to court-martial a soldier who killed an unarmed physician in southern Afghanistan has been postponed until July 31.  The case of Army Sgt. 1st Class Walter Taylor, heard before a military court in Germany last month, now rests with Lt. Col. Alva Hart, investigating officer with...
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