My campaign to expose the military injustice surrounding the Army’s prosecution of Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin on sexual assault charges increased in intensity Wednesday after his ex-“spouse” accuser pleaded guilty to a felony charge of bigamy — that is, marrying one person while you are still legally married to another. As a result, my weekly recap for Oct. 11-17, 2015, is chock full of details about this case.
The earth-shaking news came as something of a surprise one day after I had published an article in which I cited sources close to the case who told me about the accuser’s civilian attorney trying not only to get a local prosecutor disqualified from her client’s case before it went to trial Oct. 22, but also trying to get her client’s trial date pushed back until after Dec. 1, the date Major Martin’s military trial is set to begin at Fort Campbell, Ky.
Likewise, the guilty plea by Major Martin’s accuser came less than 48 hours after I had submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Staff Judge Advocate’s office at Fort Campbell. In my request, I asked for copies of “any and all print and/or electronic communications, including, but not limited to handwritten and computer-generated notes, letters, email messages and text messages, between any individual(s) assigned to the Staff Judge Advocate staff at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, including but not limited to Major Bashore, Captain Garrett, Major Jenny S. Whyte-Schlack and any civilian attorney(s) and/or their associates representing Major Martin’s accuser, an alleged bigamist known by several different names, in legal matters in Christian County.”
While the information I might receive as a result of the FOIA request should prove interesting, it became much less important and/or valuable following the admission of guilt by Major Martin’s accuser. Still, I’m interested in receiving it, since it might show more of the prosecutorial misconduct Major Martin’s defense attorneys had cited as a reason to dismiss charges against their client.
I’m also interested in the subject of a piece I published a piece under the headline, Attorneys Who Win Small Battles Might Win Legal War, 24 hours after submitting the FOIA request. The piece contains two attorneys’ opinions about Major Martin’s case — which involves false sexual assault allegations as well as Army prosecutors and commanders under political pressure to win a conviction at all cost — and about how the attorneys who win the small battles might win the legal war. It will be interesting to see how their thoughts pan out in comparison to what actually takes place as the prosecution of Major Martin moves forward.
Perhaps most important among my efforts this week is something I did one day after Major Martin’s accuser entered her guilty plea. On Thursday, I married my online and offline efforts into a single effort aimed at putting pressure on senior government officials and military leaders to drop this kangaroo court-martial effort that could land Major Martin behind bars for 58 years* if allowed to go to trial. As outlined in my piece, Letter Warns Army Chief of Staff About ‘Rat’ at Fort Campbell, I wrote a letter to Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley and let him know about the “rat” I smelled at Fort Campbell. On top of that, I forwarded copies of the letter to four United States Senators, the Secretary of Defense, the DoD Inspector General and a handful of Army generals — including Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammer, the man behind the boneheaded decision to prosecute Major Martin.
As things stand now, Major Martin — a prior-enlisted Ranger-turned Regular Army officer who went from serving as a cavalry scout to flying combat missions as an attack helicopter pilot during three tours in Iraq during a distinguished military career — is scheduled to stand trial Dec. 1 and faces the possibility of 58 years in prison if convicted. Meanwhile, his accuser — the woman to whom he believed he had been legally married for most of a decade — is set to be sentenced by Christian County (Ky.) Judge Andrew Self Feb. 17, 2016, and faces only 5 years with very little chance of any time behind bars.
After reading all of my pieces about the case, I think you’ll agree the prosecution of Major Martin needs to end immediately. In turn, I trust you’ll make your voice heard by contacting the people listed near the end of this article.
Stay tuned for more as this drama plays out.
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*UPDATE: After publishing this article, I learned Army prosecutors agreed to limit any possible punishment in this case to 10 years. A sign they have a weak case?”