Despite the fact prosecutors presented no evidence or eyewitnesses, members of a U.S. Army court-martial panel found Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart guilty of sexually assaulting a 29-year-old German woman with whom he admitted having had a one-night stand one year earlier. Below is an excerpt from my book, Three Days In August, about what happened in the life of this elite Green Beret after he was railroaded by the politically-correct military justice system:
“So, they find me guilty. It’s late at night. In an instant, my whole life got flushed right down the toilet,” said Stewart, recalling the verdict that changed his life just before midnight on August 19, 2009. “I am smart enough to know that my life is screwed. The rest of my life. No matter what. My life is done.
“Clearly, I felt that I was shafted, and I knew there was no way to fix it,” he explained. “This is an analogy I use. It might come across as messed up, but this is my analogy, and this is why I chose to do what I did.
“I was not going to have everybody do prison time with me,” said Stewart, recalling his thoughts after a court-martial panel found him guilty of sex crimes against a German woman and handed down a sentence that included a reduction in rank, from E-7 to E-1, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, eight years of confinement and a recommendation for dishonorable discharge upon release.
“I wasn’t going to go to prison and have my kids have to go through having their dad in prison and my wife having to stand by my side and go without a husband for years—and, at that time, I didn’t know the length of the years,” said Stewart, a Special Forces combat medic and Level One-trained sniper. “I didn’t know the length of my sentence; I just knew that I was found guilty.”
That’s when he made a decision.
“I never thought I was going to prison,” Stewart said. “When I got back after (being convicted), I had a reality check in the hotel room” at the Krystal Inn, the on-post hotel where he was staying near the court building where his trial was taking place at Rose Barracks in Vilseck, Germany.
About the only plans he made took place during the last intermission in the courtroom before his guilty verdict was announced. After calling his wife and telling her he wouldn’t be coming home soon, Stewart also called his military-friendly bank, USAA, and transferred all of the money in his account into his wife’s account.
“I already knew what I was gonna do,” he recalled.
Back in their room at the Krystal Inn, Stewart and his buddy, Sergeant First Class Detrick Hampton, laid in their beds and talked most of the night until Sergeant Hampton fell asleep around 5 a.m. Less than an hour later, Stewart began to implement his hastily-crafted plan.
Careful not to wake Sergeant Hampton, Stewart got up out of his bed about an hour later, put on his Army Combat Uniform and low-quarter shoes and collected a few items—including a combat knife and a rubber band—he thought he might need. Oddly, he left his black Army jump boots in the room.
Quietly, he walked out of his second-floor room at the Krystal Inn where, even after he was found guilty, he was not kept under guard—an indication, perhaps, that some in the Army still didn’t think he was as dangerous as the charges, eventual conviction and news media coverage of his case might have indicated. He had, after all, never been deemed a danger to others or a flight risk.
Because he had not planned to go away for a long time, Stewart didn’t prepare by gathering lots of clothes, money and 16 passports. Instead, he ensured only that he had enough money for gas to go where he needed to go to take his own life. And with three combat tours in Iraq and other stints in Kosovo and Macedonia under his belt, he knew enough about medicine to make it happen.
Once outside the hotel room, Stewart walked the short distance to a staircase in the center of the building, down a single flight of stairs and through an open-air hallway out to the parking lot where his rental car, an Audi Q5, was parked.
He drove the SUV a short distance to the Shoppette—the name the Army and Air Force Exchange Service gives its convenience stores located on military installations—where he purchased a laundry list of items: three 50-count bottles of Tylenol caplets, one 72-count package of Sominex tablets, two 16-ounce bottles of Gatorade Riptide Rush, some writing paper and a couple of pencils.”
Find out what happened next in the life of this man who sacrificed so much for his country only to be betrayed! Order a copy of Three Days In August.
To read about other cases of military justice run amok, click here.
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