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Court Martial Law Division - A Division of Aviso Law LLC
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Three Airmen Face Court Martial Following Alleged Rape of Fourth Airman
How does intoxication factor into a sexual assault court martial? 

According to recent reports from the U.S. Air Force, three Airmen First Class are set for court martial on November 9, 2015 following allegations of the gang rape of a fourth airman while she was intoxicated. Allegedly, the four were partying on the evening of May 30, 2014 in the vicinity of the Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. The defendants – one of whom was under the age of 21 – are also believed to have been engaging in illicit drug use involving commonly-abused prescription medications. During the time span in question, it is alleged that all three defendants engaged in non-consensual sexual intercourse with the victim while she was highly intoxicated. 
Effect of intoxication on mental intent

For any specific-intent crime, the prosecution must prove the requisite mental intent to commit the offense, along with the other required elements listed in the penal code. Under the military penal code, rape is defined as follows: 

- See more at: http://courtmartiallaw.com/lawyer/2015/07/19/Court-Martial-Defense/Three-Airmen-Face-Court-Martial-Following-Alleged-Rape-of-Fourth-Airman_bl20529.htm#sthash.7ejefpmB.dpuf
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Court-Martial Focuses On Intent For Soldier Accused Of Murder
How does intent effect a court martial relating to homicide?

A court-martial began last week to determine if Spc. Jeffrey Page formed the intent to kill his comrade Spc. Adrian Perkins.  The two men were stationed at an American missile site in Jordan last year.  During a lunch break, Spc. Perkins was fatally shot while carrying lunch to Spc. Page and another unnamed guard at their guard post.  An autopsy performed on Spc. Perkins showed that he died from a single gunshot wound to the head fired from an M-4 Rifle.  

The defense attorney for Spc. Page argues that the case is involuntary manslaughter and that the fatal shot was accidental, not deliberate or out of hatred.  The defense attorney commented

- See more at: http://courtmartiallaw.com/lawyer/blog/Denver,-CO-Martial-Law-Blog.htm#sthash.aIAbkAH2.dpuf
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Oklahoma Attorney General Offers Opinion on Court Martial Against U.S. Marine for Refusing to Remove Bible Verses
Can a service member face court martial for refusing orders on religious grounds? 

Under U.S. military regulations, members of the armed services are required to abide by the direct orders of their superiors – even if they disagree or take exception to the commanding officer’s instruction. In a recent ongoing battle originating in Camp LeJeune, North Carolina, a former member of the U.S. Marines has launched an appeal of her discharge following First Amendment-infused conflict with her former drill sergeant and immediate superior. The case, which is up for possible consideration on appeal, involves the application of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and could serve as a powerful precedent-setting case within the U.S. Military jurisdiction. 

Details of recent court martial

According to the publicized details of the case, Lance Corporal Monifa J. Sterling was employed at Camp LeJeune assisting other Marines experiencing difficulties with their Common Access Cards. During her tenure, Ms. Sterling testified that she had been the victim of repeated and continual bullying by other Marines, and

- See more at: http://courtmartiallaw.com/lawyer/blog/Denver,-CO-Martial-Law-Blog.htm#sthash.XN6qVYLM.dpuf
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U.S. Army Releases March 2015 Court Martial Statistics
What is the status of ongoing court martial cases within the U.S. Army branch? 


As you are likely aware, the U.S. military maintains its own separate and distinct jurisdiction from the federal and state courts. The military has its own penal code, set of laws, sentencing guidelines, and judicial process – known as a court martial. Moreover, the military recruits its attorneys and judges from a pool of candidates with both a legal and military background, known more common as the Judge Advocate General (J.A.G.) Division. 

In April, 2015, the Army released a comprehensive set of statistics detailing the recently-concluded matters before its court martials across the U.S. The following details some of the more high-profile matters resolved in each of the five judicial circuits covered by the Army’s tribunals, including the sentences rendered against each offender. 
Homicide & Sex Crimes Cases

All five circuits were faced with allegations of homicide and sexually-based offenses. For instance, one officer was sentenced to
- See more at: http://courtmartiallaw.com/lawyer/2015/06/15/Court-Martial-Defense/U.S.-Army-Releases-March-2015-Court-Martial-Statistics_bl19703.htm#sthash.AwM0KqbZ.dpuf
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Sailors Accused of Filming Shower Videos Court-Martialed
The submarine branch is one of the last communities in the service still largely restricted to men. Unfortunately, the Navy’s goal of integrating females into the ranks took a major hit recently when it was revealed that several sailors aboard the USS Wyoming had filmed, and were sharing with others, videos of female officers and midshipmen undressing and showering.

So far, seven sailors have been court-martialed over the videos. They have been charged with everything from sexual misconduct to conspiracy and making false statements. It is possible that additional sailors will be pulled in as investigations continue since it is being reported that the videos were traded “like Pokemon” for energy drinks and other items.

The four sailors that have pled guilty so far have all been sentenced to jail time. 

Petty Officer 3rd Class

- See more at: http://courtmartiallaw.com/lawyer/2015/06/04/Court-Martial-Law/Sailors-Accused-of-Filming-Shower-Videos-Court-Martialed-_bl19561.htm#sthash.NFgKi4mx.dpuf
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Do Theft Charges Need to Involve Property or Money?
As Bradley Manning found out, a service member can be convicted of theft involving government documents. He’s the Army Private and former intelligence analyst who leaked hundreds of thousands of confidential documents and information to the website Wikileaks. Manning pled guilty to five theft charges and contested 21 others. He was found guilty of twenty charges, but not aiding the enemy, at his trial in 2013.

Manning was sentenced to 35 years in a military prison. He was also reduced in rank, forfeited all pay and allowances and received a dishonorable discharge, according to ABC News. The aiding the enemy charge would have carried a life sentence.

His court martial started three years after Manning was detained in Iraq on suspicion of leaking a video showing a helicopter attack by U.S. forces that killed several Iraqi civilians. He was later charged with leaking about 750,000 documents that were battlefield reports and diplomatic cables. It may have been the most extensive leak of classified information in U.S. history.

Prosecutors used computer forensics to show Manning's computer activity while he was in Iraq in 2009 and 2010. They said that within weeks of his arrival, Manning began searching classified military computer networks for materials that would be of interest to WikiLeaks.

Manning claimed his intent was

- See more at: http://courtmartiallaw.com/lawyer/2015/05/26/Court-Martial-Defense/Do-Theft-Charges-Need-to-Involve-Property-or-Money_bl19270.htm#sthash.ymoyl9Vi.dpuf
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How is Larceny Defined by the Military?
How one can steal from another person is limited only by their imagination. How a theft can be prosecuted by the military is more limited. The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) has a couple of provisions that are used for courts martial when these crimes are involved.

Under Article 121 larceny is defined as wrongfully taking, obtaining or withholding from the possession of the owner, or of any other person, any money, personal property, or article of value of any kind with the intent to permanently deprive or defraud another of the use and benefit of property, or appropriate it to for his own use or the use of anyone other than the owner and steals that property, is guilty of larceny. If a person does the same, but the intent is only to do so temporarily, the person is guilty of wrongful appropriation.

Examples of these types of cases (that went to an appeal) include,

- See more at: http://courtmartiallaw.com/lawyer/2015/05/22/Court-Martial-Defense/How-is-Larceny-Defined-by-the-Military_bl19265.htm#sthash.wXHckyfm.dpuf
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Is Identity Theft a Court Martial Offense?
Military members have been charged and convicted of identity theft through court martial proceedings. Though it may not fit into the traditional idea of what theft is and the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) does not have an article specifically for identity theft, federal statute can be used or a general article under the UCMJ can create a charge of identity theft, so it is still a criminal offense in the military.

One example is an Air Force staff sergeant from Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico who was found guilty of identity theft and wrongful appropriation during a court martial in 2012. She received a fifty month prison sentence, had her rank reduced to airman basic and a dishonorable discharge.

She was found to have used her Air Force position to steal personally identifiable information from six people then used the information to open bogus credit accounts and engage in other fraudulent activity. Military members can be especially vulnerable to identity theft because of the widespread use of their Social Security numbers and frequent need to disclose it.

Another serviceman convicted of identity theft is Senior Airman Brandon Harris who was convicted of shoplifting, government travel card abuse and identity theft at his court martial at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska. He plead guilty to all the charges including the theft of another airman’s identity.

He testified he mistakenly received a

- See more at: http://courtmartiallaw.com/lawyer/2015/05/20/Court-Martial-Defense/Is-Identity-Theft-a-Court-Martial-Offense_bl19264.htm#sthash.SM6iacAq.dpuf
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U.S. Army Soldier Sentenced to 45 Years Following Murder Conviction Involving Fellow Soldier
What is the status of the recent trial involving Joint-Base Lewis McChord infantryman Pvt. Jeremiah Hill?

Following a fact-intensive trial, 24-year old Pvt. Jeremiah Hill will spend the next 45 years behind bars after a six-member jury convicted him of murder without premeditation. Hill, a U.S. Army infantryman stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, was arrested following an October 5, 2013 incident on the Pacific Highway South near the base, which is located in Tacoma, Washington. 

According to eye witness accounts, Hill and several fellow soldiers were traveling on foot down the Pacific Highway South when the group crossed paths with the victim, 20-year old Spc. Tevin Geike, who was traveling by vehicle after a “night of partying.” From there, a passenger in the vehicle made an allegedly menacing remark toward the group of individuals traveling on foot, and a confrontation ensued. Shortly thereafter, the men realized that all were members of the military, further confounding the tension between the two groups. 

Of major issue in the trial was whether Hill, at this point, stabbed the victim in retaliation for his brandishing of a knife, or whether he committed the act unprovoked. While prosecutors for the Army argued that there is no way Hill had acted in self-defense, Geike’s mortal wound was located beneath his right shoulder, thereby shedding doubt on prosecutors’ claims that Hill attacked the victim from behind. 

Also at issue was a deep cut on

- See more at: http://courtmartiallaw.com/lawyer/2015/05/11/Court-Martial-Defense/U.S.-Army-Soldier-Sentenced-to-45-Years-Following-Murder-Conviction-Involving-Fellow-Soldier_bl18964.htm#sthash.I2fjJwW8.dpuf
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Air Force Preparing to Try Its Only Ongoing Capital Case
What are the latest developments in the capital murder case against Senior Airman Charles Amos Wilson, III? 

In the U.S. Air Force’s only pending capital murder case, Senior Airman Charles Amos Wilson, III is facing a slew of charges following the unthinkable murder of his fiancé, their unborn child, and a former friend in an unrelated 2011 incident. At the current stage of the case – which involves the argument of several motions relating to the facts present at the time of the killings – attorneys for Wilson are strenuously objecting to the introduction of a number of aggravating factors, which could result in an elimination of a possible death penalty, if granted. 

Chief Trial Judge of the Air Force Col. Vance H. Spath has agreed to dismiss three of the 17 charges originally filed against Wilson, including two charges of threatening communication and one charge of unlawfully discharging a firearm. Nonetheless, Wilson continues to face charges of murder, aggravated arson, conspiracy, assault, obstruction of justice, and burning with intent to defraud. 

Beginning in 2011, Wilson is alleged to have intentionally

- See more at: http://courtmartiallaw.com/lawyer/2015/05/08/Court-Martial-Defense/Air-Force-Preparing-to-Try-Its-Only-Ongoing-Capital-Case_bl18963.htm#sthash.QPLSZioZ.dpuf
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