Tag Archives: combat

Exclusive Interview: Army Officer Fighting Toughest Battle

An elite Army Ranger and master Army aviator, Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin flew some 1,000 hours of combat missions in Iraq. Today, however, the 47-year-old attack helicopter pilot is fighting the toughest battle of his life at home. He shared details of that battle during an exclusive interview Sept. 2. Today, for the first time ever, I share the complete 49-minute version of the interview, complete with on-screen updates.

Major Martin Complete Interview 9-2-15

Click on video below to view Bob McCarty’s 49-minute interview of Army Major Christian “Kit” Martin, complete with on-screen updates.

First, however, some background:  Major Martin faces a laundry list of charges that could land him in prison for a maximum of 10 years if convicted. The charges stem from allegations made against him by his ex-wife, a woman who pleaded guilty in Christian County (Ky.) Court Oct. 14 to a felony charge of bigamy — that is, she admitted to having married Major Martin without telling him she was still married to another man — only weeks before a military court at Fort Campbell, Ky., was set to decide the major’s guilt or innocence.

The latest: Major Martin became a “person of interest” to law enforcement officials in the Fort Campbell area after several bodies were discovered Nov. 19 at two different locations not far from his Pembroke, Ky., home. One of the bodies was that of Calvin Lee Phillips, 59, a man who lived across the street from the major and was set to testify during the aforementioned military trial. Following an emergency hearing Nov. 24, a military judge ordered the trial, set to begin Dec. 1, delayed indefinitely.

The interview video: Beginning Sept. 4 and continuing through Sept. 7, I shared 11 excerpts from the Sept. 2 interview. Today, for the first time ever, I share the 49-minute, full-length version of the exclusive interview, complete with on-screen updates, below:

To learn more about Major Martin’s case, click here.

To read about other cases of military justice run amok, click here.

Stay tuned for updates as they surface.

UPDATE 12/7/2015 at 8:14 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 11:09 a.m. Central: I’ve learned that Major Martin’s military trial date is set for March 14-18, 2016.

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  Thanks in advance!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Local Prosecutor Says Fort Campbell Counterparts Tried to Pressure Her to Drop Charge Against Army Officer’s Accuser

Days after publishing a brief article about the hearing that took place Monday and Tuesday inside a military courtroom at Fort Campbell, Ky., I’m able to share more details about what took place as a military judge heard from attorneys on both sides about whether unlawful command influence and prosecutorial misconduct have tainted the prosecution of Army Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin. This is Part Two of a three-part series.

Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin stands in front of his AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter in Balad, Iraq, in 2008. Though he’s piloted a many of the U.S. Army’s most-sophisticated attack helicopters, nothing prepared him for his battle with the military justice system.

Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin stands in front of his AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter in Balad, Iraq, in 2008. Though he’s piloted a many of the U.S. Army’s most-sophisticated attack helicopters, nothing prepared him for his battle with the military justice system.

First, some background: Major Martin, 47, is an Army Ranger and attack helicopter pilot with a distinguished 29-year military career — including three combat tours in Iraq — under his belt. Soon after telling his “wife” he wanted a divorce, he found himself the target of serious allegations and multiple criminal investigations followed during the next three years. Today, he faces the possibility of 58 years in prison if convicted on the most recent charges stemming from his ex-wife’s allegations of sexual assault and abuse. Because there is much more to it than I can share in one paragraph, I recommend you read the overview article about the case published Sept. 4 before you read any further.

The Article 39A hearing, essentially a pre-trial hearing during which the parties hashed out details in advance of having panel members (i.e., jurors) present, began at 8 a.m. with attorneys on both sides meeting alone with Col. Andrew Glass, the military judge.

Ninety minutes later, attorneys began making arguments about potential evidence to be presented and potential witnesses to be called during the upcoming trial. More than four hours of banter and discussion followed until 2 p.m. when the opposing parties took a one-hour break for lunch. After returning to the courtroom, four hours of testimony began.

In the space below, I share details of the hearing based, in part, upon reports obtained from hearing attendees, none of whom happen to represent the prosecution which, to date, has opted to remain silent about the case.

LOCAL CIVILIAN PROSECUTOR TESTIFIES

In addition to the testimony highlighted in Part One of this series, more damning testimony surfaced when defense attorney Katherine Demps questioned Katherine (Garber) Foster, the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s Attorney for Christian County (a.k.a., “the local civilian prosecutor”).

Foster testified Tuesday afternoon that she had been contacted in October and November 2014 by two of the Army attorneys involved in prosecuting Major Martin: Maj. Jacob D. Bashore, the special victims prosecutor who was the subject of my Aug. 27 article, Army Lawyer Surfaces in New Bogus Prosecution Effort; and Capt. James P. Garrett, the lead prosecutor.

Foster also told the court she had felt pressured by both officers to drop her bigamy case against Major Martin’s accuser who, it turns out, appears to have never gotten a divorce from the father of her two youngest children before she married the major.

Regarding Major Bashore, specifically, Foster testified that he had contacted her repeatedly by email and phone.

One example of Major Bashore’s pressure can be found in the wording of an email exchange between Foster and the SVP, a copy of which I obtained. The exchange began with Foster contacting Major Bashore about an Army-related “bigamy and fraud question.” The words of her initial inquiry, stamped Oct. 7, 2014, at 4:19 p.m., appear below with the name of the accuser redacted and only minor formatting modifications:

“Major Bashore, I hope all is well at Fort Campbell! I have a rather interesting case, the victim being a soldier, Major Chris Martin, and his ex-wife, who is charged with bigamy. I am aware that he is under investigation by the military for claims of sexual assault by the ex-wife. Long, long, long story short, I was wondering if the military would ever prosecute the ex-wife for fraud since she obtained military benefits as a spouse while actually being married to another man. Thoughts?”

Barely 24 hours later (Oct. 8, 2014, at 5:04 p.m.), Major Bashore replied as follows:

“Hey, sorry for the delay. Been in trial the last two days. MAJ Martin is being court-martialed for the sexual abuse of his children, for assaulting his children and his former wife, and for some purely military offenses. MAJ Martin seems to be making a cottage industry for himself on being a ‘victim.’ But, no, we couldn’t prosecute the wife even if we wanted to as the military does not have jurisdiction over civilians.”

He closed his email with a telling question:

“Are y’all really going after her?”

Appearing to hold no punches while maintaining her demeanor, Foster replied the following day at 9:13 a.m:

“Yes, sir. Right now she has bigamy charges, and we are also looking to indict her on Tampering with a Witness stemming from her hearing in Family Court in 2012. Although I have only met with (Major Martin’s accuser) in the past and had not spoken with Major Martin until this week, I’ve been aware of their issues for the past two years, and I honestly find her behavior concerning. Major Martin’s attorney has been unsuccessful in finding any certificate for divorce on file in the four different counties in which (Major Martin’s accuser) has alleged that her divorce may have been granted. Additionally, (Major Martin’s accuser) and her attorney have not been able to produce any documents pertaining to a divorce despite repeated requests from Major Martin’s attorney. Judge Fleming annulled the marriage on June 11, 2014, and a finding of fact in that action is that (Major Martin’s accuser) was still married to (name of first husband of Major Martin’s accuser) when she married Major Martin.”

Regarding Captain Garrett, Foster testified she felt he had been “intense” with her and said she was insulted by his demeanor. In addition, she told the court she had spent 45 minutes telling Captain Garrett she had personally witnessed the Sept. 18, 2012, hearing during which Major Martin’s “wife” attempted to obtain an Emergency Protective Order against Major Martin. She told the court she concluded that Major Martin’s accuser was untruthful and had committed witness tampering with her children.

Apparently, Army prosecutors don’t like the local civilian prosecutor’s plan to prosecute Major Martin’s accuser because it weakens their case against the Regular Army officer.

On the second day of the hearing, Captain Garrett was asked why he had contacted Foster and why he should not be held in account for an apparent Brady Violation for waiting 60 days to inform the defense of his communication with Foster.

Worth noting: Major Martin’s attorneys have filed disciplinary complaints against Major Bashore and Captain Garrett in the states of Tennessee and Texas where they are, respectively, licensed to practice law. Also worth noting is the fact that Foster’s testimony seems to dovetail with the information I shared in my aforementioned Sept. 4 article, including news about the arrest of Major Martin’s accuser, her release on $5,000 bond and an Oct. 22 trial date being set for her case.

The local civilian prosecutor wasn’t the only person to testify about having an uncomfortable conversation with Army prosecutors. Two Army officers at Fort Campbell testified about the advice they received from the legal officers.

Maj. Lance Fountain, acting commander of the unit to which Major Martin was assigned, testified that Captain Garrett had advised him to not allow the accused officer to take leave (a.k.a., “earned vacation time”) so that he could meet with his defense attorneys two weeks prior to his first court-martial-related hearing in April 2015. Soon after Major Fountain testified, an audio recording of a conversation between the two majors was played in the courtroom for all to hear. The subject: Captain Garrett and the prosecution team’s efforts to block Major Martin from taking leave since June 2014. According to courtroom insiders, it clearly shows prosecutorial misconduct.

Another officer, Lt. Col. Nickolaus Guran, testified that he, too, had refused to approve some of Major Martin’s leave requests based upon advice from Army prosecutors. In addition, he testified that the major had not received initial written counseling and had not been assigned a duty position until six months after he had been assigned to his battalion.

To read other articles about Major Martin’s case, click here.

Thanks in advance for reading and sharing the article above and those to follow, and 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.

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Officer’s Accuser Described as ‘Untruthful Since Childhood’

Days after publishing a brief article about the hearing that took place Monday and Tuesday inside a military courtroom at Fort Campbell, Ky., I’m able to share more details about what took place as a military judge heard from attorneys on both sides about whether unlawful command influence and prosecutorial misconduct have tainted the prosecution of Army Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin. This is Part One of a three-part series.

This graphic tells Maj. Christian "Kit" Martin's story in a nutshell. If justice doesn't prevail, he faces the possibility of spending 58 years in prison for something he did not do.

This graphic tells Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin’s story in a nutshell. If justice doesn’t prevail, he faces the possibility of spending 58 years in prison for something he did not do.

First, some background: Major Martin, 47, is an Army Ranger and attack helicopter pilot with a distinguished 29-year military career — including three combat tours in Iraq — under his belt. Soon after telling his “wife” he wanted a divorce, he found himself the target of serious allegations and multiple criminal investigations followed during the next three years. Today, he faces the possibility of 58 years in prison if convicted on the most recent charges stemming from his ex-wife’s allegations of sexual assault and abuse. Because there is much more to it than I can share in one paragraph, I recommend you read the overview article about the case published Sept. 4 before you read any further.

The Hearing

The Article 39A hearing, essentially a pre-trial hearing during which the parties hashed out details in advance of having panel members (i.e., jurors) present, began at 8 a.m. with attorneys on both sides meeting alone with Col. Andrew Glass, the military judge.

Ninety minutes later, attorneys began making arguments about potential evidence to be presented and potential witnesses to be called during the upcoming trial. More than four hours of banter and discussion followed until 2 p.m. when the opposing parties took a one-hour break for lunch. After returning to the courtroom, four hours of testimony began.

In the space below, I share details of the hearing based, in part, upon reports obtained from hearing attendees, none of whom happen to represent the prosecution which, to date, has opted to remain silent about the case.

ACCUSER’S SISTER TESTIFIES

The first witness called Tuesday afternoon was an older sister of Major Martin’s accuser. She was patched into the courtroom by phone from her California home.

During her time on the virtual witness stand, she began by telling the court she did not want to testify and had no opinion as to her sister’s credibility.  In addition, she testified she had not seen her 40-something sister much since leaving home many years earlier but had visited her in 2006 when Major Martin was assigned to a unit in Germany. In part due to “issues” that surfaced during that European vacation, she said she and her sister have had little contact since 2006.

At the conclusion of the woman’s testimony, Major Martin’s attorneys presented an audio recording that revealed damning statements she had made during an April 2015 interview with a private investigator. The audio recording included a statement by the woman that her sister, Major Martin’s accuser, had been untruthful since childhood, had a propensity for making up stories for no apparent reason and could not be believed.

Damning indeed.

To read other articles about Major Martin’s case, click here.

FYI: Parts 2 and 3 of this series will be published Sunday at 8 a.m. and Noon Central, respectively.

Thanks in advance for reading and sharing the article above and those to follow, and 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.

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Bob McCarty Weekly Recap: Sept. 6-12, 2015

In this weekly recap, I share details about how I spent most of the week shining the light of truth on the case of Army Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin. But, as you’ll read below, his story is not the only one I tackled.

Based on the feedback I've received during the past week, I'd say the name of the store in this photo describes the sentiment of the vast majority of my Facebook friends when it comes the case of Army Maj. Christian "Kit" Martin and his upcoming court-martial on bogus sexual assault charges. FYI: His story is available at http://bobmccarty.com/?p=3081. I hope you'll give it a look and consider sharing it.

Based on the feedback I’ve received during the past week, I’d say the name of the store in this photo describes the sentiment of the vast majority of my Facebook friends when it comes the case of Army Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin and his upcoming court-martial on bogus sexual assault charges. FYI: His story is available at http://bobmccarty.com/?p=3081. I hope you’ll give it a look and consider sharing it.

On Sunday, Sept. 6, I offered three video clips from my Sept. 2 Skype interview with Major Martin as followups to six clips I shared during the previous week:

In Video Clip 9, the elite Army Ranger, master Army aviator and Iraq War combat veteran describes how then-Brig. Gen. Mark R. Stammer, acting commanding general at Fort Campbell, Ky., at the time, reacted to two of his subordinates telling him they didn’t think the charges against Major Martin should go forward.

In Video Clip 10, Major Martin shares his thoughts about whether intense political pressure forced General Stammer into taking the unwarranted action against him.; and

In Video Clip 11, the major reveals what his investigators found that prompted officials in two states to file their own charges against the woman he long considered his “wife.” In addition, he reveals what Army investigators did in response.

In an effort to get answers regarding his decision to prosecute Major Martin, I sent an email Tuesday, Sept. 8 to now-Major General Stammer at his new post in Africa. You can read what I asked him and see how he responded by reading my piece, Army General Asked to Explain Decision to Prosecute [Note: The general’s response appears in the second update at the end of the piece.].

On Wednesday, Sept. 9, I offered an overview of my coverage to date of Major Martin’s case for those who had not yet read about him. That overview appears under the headline, If You’ve Ever Known An American Soldier….

On Thursday, Sept. 10, I put the spotlight on troubling legal issues impacting Major Martin and other Soldiers accused of sexual assault. Read about it under the headline, Unlawful Command Influence, Prosecutorial Misconduct Cited as Reasons to Dismiss Charges Against Army Officer.

On Friday, Sept. 11, I climbed much higher into Major Martin’s chain of command, going all the way to the White House for details in my article, Attorneys Cite President’s Unlawful Command Influence, Seek Dismissal of Charges Against Army Helicopter Pilot. Later the same day, I shared a guest piece in which Paul R. Hollrah offered a political strategy to defeat ‘The Left’ in 2016.

Click on image above to read articles about Major Martin's fight for military justice.

Click on image above to read articles about Major Martin’s fight for military justice.

MY FACEBOOK PAGE

If you’re not yet a Facebook friend of mine, please visit my Facebook page. There, you’ll get to read other tidbits, ranging from personal and political items to news about my office assistant, Butters.

This week, for example, I shared two updates to my Aug. 21 article, Secretary of Defense Invites Me to Ask Questions.

In addition, I shared photo, courtesy of my oldest son and his wife who live halfway around the world and provide me with a regular supply of stuff that makes me say, “Huh?” The photo atop this article stands as one recent example put it to good use. Don’t you agree?

Finally, I share daily updates about my workouts, including my September goal to tackle 110,000 stair steps at the suburban St. Louis lake where I exercise daily. As of Friday night, my month-to-date total stands at 52,100 stair steps, and I have only 57,900 to go toward my goal for the month.

That’s all for now! For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  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. Thanks in advance!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.