Tag Archives: Fox 17

Bob McCarty Weekly Recap: Nov. 29-Dec. 5, 2015

Today, I offer an expanded version of my weekly recap for Nov. 29-Dec. 5, 2015.

Weekly Recap Nov. 29-Dec. 5, 2015

Nov. 29: Nashville’s Fox 17 Omits Key Details From News Reports About Army Officer Caught Up In Murder Investigation — Recent news reports aired on Fox 17 in Nashville might have caused viewers to think Army Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin is the only “person of interest” to investigators trying to find the person(s) responsible for several dead bodies found Nov. 19 in Pembroke, Ky. Why? Because reporter Sabrina Hall omitted many key details in her rush to inform viewers about events in the small town near Fort Campbell.

Nov. 30: Attorney Cites ‘Foul Smell in the Air’ Surrounding Effort to Link Army Officer to Multiple Murders Near Fort Campbell — As Bill Summers tells it, there’s a “foul smell in the air” in Christian County, Ky., and it stems from the way investigators and prosecutors are treating his client after several bodies were found in the small town of Pembroke, 30 minutes north-northeast of Fort Campbell.

Nov. 30: FLASHBACK: A Presidential Candidate Lied to Me in 2011 — Four years ago today, I published a piece about my trust in then-Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain being placed in peril and, eventually, broken more than eight months after I’d asked him a serious question during a phone call. Hoping the 2016 candidates are paying attention, I share it again (only slightly modified for republication).

Nov. 30: 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.

Dec. 1: Army Prosecutes Officer on Child Abuse Charges After State Officials in Kentucky Declare Charges ‘Unsubstantiated’ — Though officials with the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services issued a finding Jan. 3, 2013, that allegations of child abuse and/or neglect against Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin were unsubstantiated, Army leaders opted to move forward with the prosecution of the dedicated Soldier, based largely on allegations made by 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.

Dec. 2: Law-and-Order Veterans ‘Smell A Rat’ at Fort Campbell — During more than four months of reporting on the Army’s misguided prosecution of Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin, I’ve had conversations with many people about the case. Recent interactions with two law-and-order veterans, both of whom will remain unidentified due to the fact they’re frequently involved in military justice cases, are worth sharing as both seem to “smell a rat” at Fort Campbell, Ky.

Dec. 3: FLASHBACK: What Works in Mumbai Might Work in D.C. — While diving into my archives, I came across a piece I wrote and published seven years ago this week. Because direct links to a newspaper report and a public opinion survey cited in the article were “dead,” I replaced them with Wayback Machine links. Considering recent terror events such as the ones in Paris last month and the one in San Bernadino, Calif., yesterday, I think the article remains worth sharing. See if you agree.

Dec. 5: New Video Released: ‘I Do Not Like Barack O’Bam’ — On Friday, I wrapped up production of a new video, “I Do Not Like Barack O’Bam.”  I wrote the copyrighted words for this “slam poetry” effort in March 2011 and only recently decided it was time to combine those words with images to convey my feelings about President Barack Obama. If you’re a conservative and a fan of the late Ted Geisel (“Dr. Seuss”), I think you’ll enjoy it immensely.

BONUS COVERAGE

So busy writing that I didn’t get around to sharing a weekly update two weeks in a row, I’ll try to make up for it below by sharing some of the best pieces from Nov. 15-28, 2015:

Nov. 16: You Can Send Kid to College, But You Can’t Make Him Think — After trying to learn more this weekend about the folks involved in the Million Student March student group, I learned you can send a kid to college, but you can’t make him think.

Nov. 16: Government Funds Program to Develop Voice Stress-Based Vetting Technology Despite Fact Technology Already Exists — Would it surprise you to learn the federal government has been spending millions of dollars to develop a voice stress-based credibility-assessment technology to vet foreign individuals seeking entry into the United States from places like Syria? Hardly. But it might surprise you to learn the money has been spent despite the fact that kind of technology already exists and has proven itself over and over again in places like Afghanistan, Iraqand Guantanamo Bay.

Nov. 21: ‘Tryphorgetin’ Back to Haunt Hillary After 8-Year Hiatus — Eight years ago this month, I was in fairly-regular contact with Bruce Chapman, the part-time producer of short and funny politically-incorrect videos. One of his spots touted the fictitious pharmaceutical product, “Tryphorgetin,” as it poked fun at Hillary Clinton in the fall of 2007 before seeming to disappear from the web after the 2008 elections. Today, it resurfaced in my Facebook feed, and I decided it was worth sharing again as the former first lady, senator and secretary of state makes another run for the White House.

Nov. 23: Guest Writer Says Obama ‘Should Be Forced to Resign’ — Guest writer Paul R. Hollrah explained why, for the good of the people, Barack Obama “should be forced to resign.” It’s a good read.

Nov. 24: Multiple Bodies Found Near Fort Campbell as Army Officer’s Trial on Sexual Assault Charges Only One Week Away — It would be an understatement of epic proportions to say only that things have gotten more interesting since I published the first of more than three-dozen articles related to the efforts of Army’s efforts to prosecute Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin, 47, on sexual assault allegations. Why? Because so much more, including several mysterious deaths, has happened since then.

Nov. 24: Is Army Trying to Destroy Officer’s Chance for Fair Trial? — In a previous report today, I shared an update about the discovery of several dead bodies in Pembroke, Ky., and how Army Criminal Investigation Division agents have made it virtually impossible for Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin to obtain a fair trial as he prepares to fight sexual assault charges levied against him by the Army. Below, I share a treasure trove of disturbing, never-before-published details about recent events in the case.

Nov. 24: Army Officer’s Military Trial Delayed by Military Judge — “MAJ Christian Martin’s General Court Martial has been officially delayed by the military judge as of today.  It has not been re-docketed so there is no new date to report at this time,” wrote Army LTC Chevelle Thomas in an email message I received at 3:22 p.m. Central today.

Nov. 25: Officials Identify Gunshot Victim Found Inside Home While Facebook Comments About Case Appear and Disappear — Two important developments related to the military justice case of Army Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin surfaced during the past 24 hours. Chief among them is that Christian County (Ky.) Sheriff’s Office and Coroner’s Office officials released information about the identity of a shooting victim whose body was found Thursday afternoon inside a home at 443 South Main Street in Pembroke, Ky.

Nov. 28: My Answer Hasn’t Changed After Four Years — Almost every time I give a media interview about my first nonfiction book, Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight For Military Justice, I’m asked why I wrote it. My answer goes something like this: “I believe Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart, the man whose life is chronicled in the book, deserves a new trial.” Then I explain why.

UPDATE 12/7/2015 at 8:12 a.m. Central: I failed to include a note that 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 11:08 a.m. Central: I’ve learned that Major Martin’s military trial date is set for March 14-18, 2016.

I hope you enjoy my work and will consider purchasing copies of my books as Christmas gifts in order to keep this machine churning out articles you’ll find nowhere else. To learn how to order signed copies, click here. Thanks in advance and Merry Christmas!

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Nashville’s Fox 17 Omits Key Details From News Reports About Army Officer Caught Up In Murder Investigation

Recent news reports aired on Fox 17 in Nashville might have caused viewers to think Army Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin is the only “person of interest” to investigators trying to find the person(s) responsible for several dead bodies found Nov. 19 in Pembroke, Ky. Why? Because reporter Sabrina Hall omitted many key details in her rush to inform viewers about events in the small town near Fort Campbell. I know this, because I spoke with her by phone multiple times before her stories aired.

This undated photo shows Maj. Christian "Kit" Martin with his three biological children.

This undated photo shows Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin with his three biological children.

Before I continue this piece, it’s worth noting I wrote much of the information in the paragraphs below with the intent of highlighting only the flaws in Hall’s first report that aired the evening before Thanksgiving. In fact, I had transcribed every word spoken during the report. Then, after organizing it into an article and having it ready to publish it, things changed dramatically and the scope of this report expanded. Now that the turkey and pies are gone, I share this expanded set of observations. 

THE FIRST FLAWED REPORT

Hall’s first flawed report was 86 seconds long and appeared on the station’s website under the headline, Person of Interest in Kentucky Triple Homicide Found on Online Videos.

For reasons I’ll explain later in this piece, that report is no longer visible on the Fox 17 website; therefore, I’ll use word pictures to describe Hall’s report and then leave it up to you to decide if she gave viewers a fair and balanced account of what’s happening in the world of Major Martin, a 47-year-old attack helicopter pilot who served multiple combat tours in Iraq.

The report opened with two images — yellow crime scene tape followed by a closeup of a logo on the driver’s door of a Christian County Sheriff’s Office vehicle — as Hall spoke in voiceover mode: “When it comes to three people being murdered, the Christian County Sheriff’s Department says Major Christian Martin isn’t talking, but Fox 17 did find this online.”

Major Christian "Kit" Martin

Major Christian “Kit” Martin is shown behind his desk at home in this screengrab from a copyrighted Skype interview Sept. 2, 2015.

Next, a short excerpt from a Sept. 2 interview I conducted with Major Martin via Skype appeared. Shown seated behind a desk in his home office, surrounded by military memorabilia and with a “Don’t Tread On Me” flag on the wall behind him, the major said, “They did a secret surveillance on me I didn’t know about for six months.”

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.

The piece continued with viewers seeing a floating image of the Army officer dressed for battle and standing in front of an AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter in Balad, Iraq. At the same time, Hall’s voice filled the air again, saying, “Here, Major Martin talks about the criminal charges he faces: sexual assault, molesting two children and not properly caring for classified information.”

The report cut back to a clip from the interview, with Major Martin saying, “They gave me a three-hour polygraph. I did not expect it to take that long.”

As I reported Sept. 28, Army investigators conducted an extensive, six-month investigation of the major based on allegations made by his ex-wife and one other person. In turn, they found the allegations completely without merit except for the watered-down charge of “not properly caring for classified information” which still stands against him and is something I’ll discuss in a future article.

Next, the on-screen image cut to the exterior of a home, located across the street from Major Martin’s house. Inside that home, investigators had found the body of Calvin Lee Phillips, 59, Nov. 19. Hall continued in voiceover mode: “According to Major Martin’s own attorney, one of the main witnesses who planned to testify against him is now confirmed dead,” she said very dramatically. “Calvin Phillips, shot to death in his own house. Phillips’ wife and neighbor are still missing, although deputies found two bodies burned up in a car. The Christian County Sheriff’s Department says deputies found evidence at this crime scene, leading a SWAT team to swarm Martin’s house.”

What Hall did not say in her report is that the major’s lead defense attorney, Bill Summers, had as much interest in questioning Phillips as Army prosecutors did. Why? Because Phillips was that “other person” mentioned earlier in this piece — the one who stood alongside the major’s ex-wife in making the long-ago-proven-false allegations of theft and international spying. Heck, Summers even told Hall about this Tuesday, she reported it Tuesday evening, and I mentioned her report in a piece the next day.

Instead of mentioning that detail, Hall cut to a clip of Capt. Chris Miller, a spokesperson for the Christian County Sheriff’s Office, saying, “…and we did obtain some evidence out of that home. Can’t say specifically what it is or what it relates to at this point…”

From there, the reporter continued in voiceover mode as short video clips — the first showing a man walking from an SUV in a poorly-lit area and two more showing sheriff’s vehicles — appeared on screen.

“Martin spent four nights locked in Fort Campbell barracks but it now out and back home,” she said. “Detectives say they are working closely with the Army in investigating this case. In these online videos, the major claims his innocence in the charges against him, filed by his ex-wife.”

In reality, Major Martin was not “locked up,” and I had told her as much over the phone. Specifically, I told her what I had been told by Army LTC Chevelle Thomas, a Fort Campbell Public Affairs officer — that is, “Commanders of Fort Campbell have the authority to put administrative limitations (on personnel) within their command.” On top of that, I described his circumstances, for lack of a better phrase, as “house arrest,” and told her the major was not in any kind of a jail cell. Why she opted to use the word “locked” instead? It must have sounded more dramatic to her — or, perhaps, her producer.

As the end of her report neared, Hall cut to the “money shot,” Major Martin behind his desk again, saying, “…and her immediate response was, and I quote, ‘If you divorce me, I will ruin your career. I will ruin your life. I know how to do it.’”

The major’s image remained on screen, his voice fading so that Hall’s could be heard replacing it as she ended her report with the words, “Now, Major Martin has more explaining to do to homicide detectives.”

If it wasn’t so serious a topic, I’d say she sounded like Ricky Ricardo on the old “I Love Lucy” television show, but without the Puerto Rican accent.

Nowhere in Hall’s report did she mention the possibility someone other than Major Martin might have some explaining to do. Among those people is the major’s aforementioned ex-wife, a woman who pleaded guilty in Christian County Court Oct. 14 to a felony charge of bigamy (i.e., she admitted to having married Major Martin without telling him she was still married to another man). Interestingly, this plea came only weeks before the major’s military trial — on the sexual assault allegations she had made — which was scheduled to begin at Fort Campbell. As I reported two days ago, the trial has been ordered delayed indefinitely by a military judge.

And nowhere in Hall’s report did she mention Major Martin’s bigamist ex-wife is, since pleading guilty to the felony count Oct. 14 in Christian County Court, living under judge-imposed travel restrictions, not allowed to travel outside Christian County except to travel to the country where her only legal husband — and father of her second and third child — lives. In addition, she stands to forfeit her $5,000 bond and/or go to jail if she violates those restrictions prior to her sentencing in February.

Though tempted to add details about other omissions by Hall, I’ll save them for future use and wrap things up on the first flawed report.

After watching Hall’s report, I sent her an email message, advising her she had used my excerpts from my copyrighted video without permission. Later, I received a reply in which she asked how much I would charge for use of the video. When I did not reply quickly enough (on the evening before Thanksgiving), she messaged me again to let me know the station would take the video down. And they did, though I later advised her I wouldn’t really charge the station for using the video.

At this point, the report remains off air and, as Martha Stewart might say, “That’s a good thing.”

THE SECOND FLAWED REPORT

The second flawed report, a screenshot of which is shown below in case it, too, disappears from the Fox 17 website, was published Thanksgiving Day under the error-filled headline, Fort Campbell Major Investigated in Pembroke, Ky., Quadruple Murder Investigation.

Screenshot of article on Fox 17 website Nov. 27.

This is a screenshot of an article as it appeared on the Fox 17 website Nov. 27.

Quadruple murder investigation? Fox 17 is the only news outlet to report four murders in relationship to this case. Perhaps, they know more than the rest of us. Needless to say, I won’t waste anyone’s time reporting the content of the video segment that appeared beneath that headline.

Stay tuned for more developments as they occur.

UPDATE 12/7/2015 at 8:15 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 11:10 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.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here. Thanks in advance!

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Officials Identify Gunshot Victim Found Inside Home While Facebook Comments About Case Appear and Disappear

Two important developments related to the military justice case of Army Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin surfaced during the past 24 hours. Chief among them is that Christian County (Ky.) Sheriff’s Office and Coroner’s Office officials released information about the identity of a shooting victim whose body was found Thursday afternoon inside a home at 443 South Main Street in Pembroke, Ky.

Contrary to what I reported in two earlier articles (here and here) and later corrected, WKDZ Radio reported this morning the Christian County officials said autopsy determined Calvin Lee Phillips, 59, died from several gunshot wounds to his upper body. They also reported they have yet to determine the identities of the victims found inside a burned-out vehicle earlier the same day. CCSO Captain Chris Miller said authorities will rely on DNA testing by the medical examiners office to help them identify those victims, with results expected within the next few weeks.

These bits of news come one day after several other developments took place.

On Tuesday morning, I received word from Fort Campbell Public Affairs Officer LTC Chevelle Thomas that the military judge handling Major Martin’s case had decided to delay the beginning of his military trial, moving it from Dec. 1 to an as-yet-undetermined future date

On Tuesday evening, Nashville’s Fox 17 television interviewed Bill Summers, Major Martin’s lead defense attorney. He told them Major Martin had been released after being held in barracks on the Army post since Friday while his off-post home was searched for clues in connection with the three bodies found in Pembroke Thursday.

DISAPPEARING FACEBOOK COMMENTS

Also Tuesday evening, two comments were posted below an article on the WKDZ Facebook page before later being removed either by someone at WKDZ or by the posters themselves — but not before I was able to obtain screenshots of the comments. Interestingly, the comments appeared beneath two names. FYI: I asked officials at WKDZ who was responsible for the comments being removed (i.e., station staff or Facebook users) and will post an update as soon as I receive an answer to that question yet.

Graphic above shows the two disappearing Facebook comments (redacted).

Graphic above shows the two disappearing Facebook comments (redacted).

One of the comments was made by someone with access to the Facebook account belonging to  Major Martin’s ex-wife, a woman who pleaded guilty in Christian County Court Oct. 14 to one felony count of bigamy (i.e., she admitted in court to having married Major Martin without telling him she was still married to another man) only weeks before the major’s military trial on sexual assault allegations she had made was scheduled to begin at Fort Campbell. Most interesting, she wrote, “One of the main witnesses scheduled to testify against this man in an upcoming court martial on december 1st is now presumed murdered, just a couple weeks before trial. Now this man is telling lies about his victims in an attempt to discredit them before court.” Interesting words coming from a convicted felon whose crime was rooted in deception.

The other comment was made by someone with access to the Facebook account of the oldest child of Major Martin’s bigamist ex-wife/accuser and the biological son of a man in Oregon who is scheduled to testify during Major Martin’s military trial. He’s also the man who expressed surprise when investigators hired by Major Martin tracked him down and told him that the mother of his child had, for almost two decades, been telling people he had been decapitated in a logging accident. For more details, read my Sept. 20 piece, Reportedly Decapitated in Logging Accident Almost 19 Years Ago, Man Ready to Testify on Behalf of Accused Army Officer. Included in his hard-to-read comments was the claim that the major “stole a government laptop and secret classified info” and “He is telling lies about his victims while in custody for a murder investigation! this guy is crazy. He needs to be in prison.”

Though I seriously doubt a teenager was at the keyboard posting the comment, it’s worth noting the claims about theft and spying — reportedly made by his mother and Phillips, the man who was found dead inside his home Thursday — were, as I first reported in an article Sept. 28, proven to be without merit by Army investigators who conducted an extensive, six-month investigation of Major Martin. That investigation included surveillance and wiretapping as well as an extensive search of his Pembroke home and lengthy interrogation sessions. As far as I can tell, the only thing accurate in the comments is that someone is crazy and needs to be in prison, but I don’t think it’s the highly-decorated Army officer.

Also worth noting as a recent event (shown in the video above) is that Major Martin’s lead defense attorney, Bill Summers, confirmed “Calvin Phillips was a witness. He was on our witness list and he was a witness on the governments witness list” during an interview with Sabrina Hall of Nashville’s Fox 17 television.

Do these new details change much in terms of the Army’s case against Major Martin? That’s hard to say, but they certainly confirm a few things in this reporter’s mind.

Stay tuned for more developments as they occur.

UPDATE 12/2/2015 at 9:51 a.m. Central: Because I have them, I decided to insert the graphic that shows the two disappearing Facebook comments.

UPDATE 12/7/2015 at 8:16 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 11:10 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.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here. Thanks in advance!

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