Tag Archives: Attorneys Who Win Small Battles Might Win Legal War

Bob McCarty Weekly Recap: Oct. 11-17, 2015

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.

Click on image above to read Bob McCarty's letter to Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley.

Click on image above to read Bob McCarty’s letter to Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley.

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.

Thanks in advance for reading and sharing the articles above and those to follow. You can show your support and help keep these articles coming by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here.

*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?”

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Attorneys Who Win Small Battles Might Win Legal War

An elite Army Ranger and attack helicopter pilot at Fort Campbell, Ky., Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin, 47, has flown some 1,000 combat flying hours. Nothing, however, could have prepared him for the battle he’s fighting now as he tries to avoid becoming a victim of the Pentagon’s sexual assault witch hunt that could send him to prison for 58 years* for something he did not do. Below, I share the opinions of two attorneys (who shall remain nameless) 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.

My cat, Butters, tries to predict the future by looking into his porcelain bowl.

This photo shows my cat, Butters, looking into his porcelain bowl in an effort to predict the future. Unfortunately, he’s about as reliable in predicting the future as the military justice system is in determining innocence and guilt.

ATTORNEY #1

“I’d like to pick your brain for just a moment,” I wrote in an email two days ago to a former top legal officer for one branch of the U.S. military. “I’m working on a story involving an Army major accused of sexual assault by a woman soon after he asked her for a divorce. I don’t describe her as the major’s wife, because she is now facing bigamy charges in Kentucky.”

I went on to explain that Major Martin had learned — after asking her for a divorce — that she had never divorced her first husband before marrying him. And then I asked my question:

“If the woman is found guilty or pleads guilty to bigamy, can the Department of the Army or Department of Defense sue her or prosecute her for anything, such as obtaining goods and services under false pretenses?”

I thanked him in advance for his thoughts on the matter and, as expected, received his reply early Monday afternoon:

“The short answer is that the Army or DoD would have to request the Department of Justice pursue any sort of recovery. The DoJ would likely send it to the local U.S. Attorney wherever he resides and do an analysis of the merits and the cost/benefit to pursue it. My guess (and it is just a guess) is that the U.S. Attorney would not pursue it.”

ATTORNEY #2

While some might say the attorney’s reply doesn’t bode well for Major Martin, another attorney sees reason for optimism in the major’s camp. He works in the criminal division of a U.S. Attorney’s office in a major U.S. city, and he offered a different view of the same situation.

He said an Army prosecutor with knowledge of a person’s breaking the law — for instance, obtaining goods and services (i.e., healthcare services and the benefits of discounted shopping at the post commissary and exchange facilities) under false pretenses (i.e., pretending to be a military spouse when one is not legally married to a member of the military) from the federal government — not only “has the authority (to initiate prosecution), (but) he has the obligation.” Further, he said the military prosecutor would be committing “a felony on his part” if he fails to act while having such knowledge.

Do the Army prosecutors have knowledge of wrongdoing by Major Martin’s accuser? I believe they do.

They are aware Katherine (Garber) Foster, assistant prosecutor in Christian County, Ky., conducted a thorough investigation that led to a bigamy charge based upon what she believes is rock-solid evidence she can use to prove Major Martin’s accuser committed bigamy.

In addition, they are aware Christian County Family Court Judge Jason Shea Fleming voided the marriage between Major Martin and his female accuser based upon evidence she never obtained a divorce from her first husband, the father of her two youngest children.

Will the prosecutors in Major Martin’s case — Maj. Jacob D. Bashore and Capt. James P. Garrett — use their authority and fulfill their obligation to report the woman’s apparent crime (i.e., impersonation of a military spouse and, in turn, the theft of goods and services from the U.S. Government) to the U.S. Attorney in Kentucky? I certainly hope so, because doing otherwise would not be very becoming of Army officers and gentlemen.

‘CHESS PIECES’ IN PLAY

Then again, there are a lot of “chess pieces” in play right now.

For instance, if local prosecutor Foster offers Major Martin’s accuser some sort of pre-trial diversion linked to a sentence of one year or longer, she would not serve any jail time unless or until she committed another crime, such as perjury, during the term of her diversion.

As I reported yesterday, Hopkinsville, Ky., civilian defense attorney Brandi Jones is not only attempting to prevent local prosecutor Foster from prosecuting the case against her client, Major Martin’s accuser, in civilian court, but she’s hoping Christian County Judge Andrew Self will agree to her request and push back her client’s trial date until after Major Martin’s military trial, expected to run Dec. 1 to 4.

Jones knows that, if she’s successful in both preventing Foster from testifying and in delaying her client’s trial, it’s highly unlikely Judge (Col.) Andrew Glass will allow any reference to bigamy and/or perjury allegations against the woman to be aired in his military courtroom during Major Martin’s military trial. And that would not bode well for the major. If, however, Judge Self refuses to delay Jones’ client’s trial, then Major Martin might have a chance of seeing his accuser explaining herself on the witness stand during his military trial. Of course, there are no guarantees, and he’s seen his witness requests denied before.

Stay tuned for updates!

For a recap of what took place during a recent one-month period in Major Martin’s life, read “Thirty Days of Hell in the Life of an Accused Army Officer.”

For all other articles about Major Martin’s case, click here.

Thanks in advance for reading and sharing this article and those to follow. Meanwhile, Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here.

UPDATE 10/14/2015 at 2:17 p.m. Central: Less than two hours after publishing the article above, I received word that Major Martin’s accuser entered a guilty plea to a bigamy charge. Sentencing is set for Feb. 17. I hope the Army prosecutors are paying attention as she is now a convicted felon.

*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?”

UPDATE 12/7/2015 at 8:23 a.m. Central: A military judge continued the military trial date for Army Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin to sometime in March 2016, though no specific date has been set.

UPDATE 12/10/2015 at 11:12 a.m. Central: I’ve learned that Major Martin’s military trial date is set for March 14-18, 2016.

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.