Tag Archives: James P Garrett

Civilian Attorney Uses Two-Pronged Approach to Help Army Prosecutors Convict Client’s Ex-‘Spouse’ of Sexual Assault

Sources tell me a Kentucky defense attorney is not only trying to get a local prosecutor disqualified from the case in which her client is set to stand trial Oct. 22 on a charge of bigamy, but she’s also trying to get her client’s trial date pushed back until after a military trial begins at Fort Campbell, Ky. Not surprisingly, her efforts could have a serious impact on that military trial.

Thirty Days of Hell

Click on image above to read “Thirty Days of Hell in the Life of an Accused Army Officer.”

During a pre-trial conference Wednesday, Hopkinsville, Ky., public defender Brandi Jones argued before Christian County Judge Andrew Self that Katherine (Garber) Foster, an assistant county prosecutor, should be disqualified from the case involving her client, because Foster testified during a military hearing Sept. 21-22.

What does Foster’s testimony during a military hearing have to do with her prosecution of a case in civilian court?  For starters, Jones’ client in civilian court is also the woman behind allegations of sexual assault and abuse that could land her “ex-spouse,” Army Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin, in prison for 58 years* if found guilty during a military trial set to begin Dec. 1.

As explained in an article Sept. 27, Foster offered two salient pieces of testimony during the military hearing held at the post that serves as home to the vaunted 101st Airborne Division:

Foster testified 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; and

Foster 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.

Despite Foster’s testimony, Col. Andrew Glass, the military judge overseeing Major Martin’s case, denied the defense motion concerning prosecutorial misconduct. A surprise? Hardly. He’s the same judge who denied the vast majority of witness requests made by Major Martin’s attorneys. But I digress.

In addition to seeking Foster’s removal from the case, Jones asked Judge Self to give her additional time to review her client’s case.

Why would Jones ask the judge to delay delivery of swift justice to her client? Because her client, if found guilty prior to Major Martin’s military trial, might be called as a witness during that trial and be forced to wear an orange jumpsuit — or the Kentucky equivalent of that if orange isn’t the Bluegrass State’s color of choice for fashionable incarceration — while on the witness stand.

Would the military judge allow such a spectacle — a witness in an orange jumpsuit — in his court room? Probably not, because everyone knows convicted felons are not considered very trustworthy witnesses, and the leadership at Fort Campbell has a reputation to uphold.

CLOSING NOTE: On Monday afternoon, I submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Staff Judge Advocate’s office at Fort Campbell. Of course, they were not in the office due to it being a holiday (i.e., Columbus Day). I do hope, however, that they’ll jump on my request today and provide me with the items included in my request. That is, 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.

Stay tuned for more details, and thanks in advance for reading and sharing the article above and those to follow. Please show your support of my work 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?”

UPDATE 12/7/2015 at 8:24 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.

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The Fix Is In: Army Judge Denies Defense Motion Concerning Unlawful Command Influence, Prosecutorial Misconduct

Moments ago, I learned the military judge overseeing the Army court-martial of Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin flatly denied a defense motion concerning unlawful command influence and prosecutorial misconduct in the prosecution of the 29-year veteran taking place at Fort Campbell, Ky.

Major Christian "Kit" Martin

Major Christian “Kit” Martin is shown behind his desk in this screengrab from a Skype interview with me earlier this month.

The news came barely 24 hours after I had posted the third of three articles about the recent two-day hearing during which the judge, Col. Andrew Glass, heard arguments from attorneys on both sides about whether unlawful command influence and prosecutorial misconduct had surfaced in the sexual assault prosecution of Major Martin on allegations. In fact, I was only moments away from wiping virtual “egg” off my face over the fact that I had failed to include something important in my reports about the hearing: hearing attendees had told me Colonel Glass had ended the final day of the hearing by admonishing prosecutors to NOT to work on Major Martin’s case until further notice.

Needless to say, I’m troubled by the judge’s ruling.

One would have to assume Colonel Glass was not paying attention to witness testimony, including that of Christian County (Ky.) prosecutor Katherine Foster who told the court that two Army prosecutors — Maj. Jacob D. Bashore, special victim prosecutor, and Capt. James P. Garrett, lead prosecutor tried to pressure her to drop a bigamy charge against Major Martin’s accuser.

Or, perhaps, Colonel Glass fell asleep when the hearing topic turned to Maj. Jenny S. Schlack-Whyte as the subject of her apparent breach of attorney-client privilege arose?

Most likely, the military judge is just another cog in the military justice machine that is under such intense pressure from elected officials — namely Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) and others of their ilk — that he decided to protect his own skin and allow the prosecution to continue.

Regardless, now would be a great idea for readers of this article to contact the officials listed at the end of this overview article and share your concerns about the lack of military justice evident in this case and call for an end to the Pentagon’s sexual assault witch hunt so that no more innocent Soldiers go to prison.

Stay tuned for more details. Meanwhile, be sure to read my other articles about Major Martin’s case.

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.

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Unlawful Command Influence, Prosecutorial Misconduct Cited as Reasons to Dismiss Charges Against Army Officer

The criminal lawyer representing Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin cited unlawful command influence and prosecutorial misconduct as reasons why all charges against their client, including charges of sexual assault, should be dismissed before their 47-year-old client goes on trial Oct. 12 Dec. 1 at Fort Campbell, Ky. If convicted on all counts, he faces the possibility of being sentenced to 58 years in prison.

Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammer, gives Secretary of State John Kerry a tour of Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, May 6.

Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammer, gives Secretary of State John Kerry a tour of Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, May 6.

Among those alleged to have engaged in unlawful command influence and prosecutorial misconduct, according to the motion to dismiss dated June 28, 2015, is Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammer, the former acting commanding general at the post who now serves as commander of Africa Command’s Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa in the East African nation, Djibouti. Others named are members of the Army prosecution team and include Special Victim Prosecutor Maj. Jacob D. Bashore, a man who was highlighted recently in a post under the headline, Army Lawyer Surfaces in New Bogus Prosecution Effort, and Capt. James P. Garrett, the lead prosecutor in the case.

Beginning on page 14 of the motion, defense attorneys William L. Summers and R. Tucker Richardson III offer a recap of their UCI argument that focuses on actions taken by then-Brigadier General Stammer (Note: I’ve removed the names of Major Martin’s accuser and her family members. In addition, I’ve deciphered a few Army acronyms as necessary):

The entire case and charges against MAJ Martin are solely the result of undo command influence by BG Mark Stammer as part of his personal agenda to make a name for himself in the current politically charged environment of sexual assault and domestic violence in the military. He has done this continually by repeatedly starting new investigations by new agencies against MAJ Martin and pushing all related allegations to a court martial, regardless of the recommendations of his Article 32 Investigating Officer (IO), Special Victim Prosecutor, lead Prosecutor, Deputy Staff Judge Advocate, and even the recommendations of the alleged “victims.”

A review of MAJ Martin’s timeline shows that all the actions taken against him were done in retribution for his and his family’s Congressional Requests, his Inspector General complaint, and his family and friend’s correspondence and complaints to BG Stammer and his supervisors. The “evidence” against MAJ Martin has been created through dubious and selective means while important facts showing the motives and past history of his ex-“wife” Ms. (accuser and her two aka’s) doing the exact same techniques of using and then “burning” men, like (accuser’s first legal husband and father of accuser’s second and third child), has been ignored. (Accuser’s first legal husband) will testify that after spurious allegations were alleged by (accuser), she took his children, two daughters, and has secreted them for over twelve years. He will testify.

The Fort Campbell Prosecution feloniously interfered in civilian court proceedings in order to try and have MAJ Martin’s “ex’s” pending felony charge of bigamy dismissed in Tennessee and Kentucky courts so that they could continue to prosecute him, a violation of ethics and Posse Comitatus that limits the powers of the federal government in using its military personnel to act as domestic law enforcement (18 U.S.C. § 1385, original at 20 Stat. 152).

In fact MAJ Martin’s entire case has been created and recreated by the Prosecution and Army Criminal Investigation Division when they were ordered to open a third new investigation against him by BG Stammer on 2 April 2014, 18 months after he had separated from (accuser) and after he had previously been cleared by civilian law enforcement, child protective services, civilian court under Judge Flemming, and Army Counter Intelligence (CI).

Army CI conducted a secret six month investigation and surveillance on him based solely upon the accusations of (accuser). They had thoroughly interrogated him and searched his house, with his expressed consent. MAJ Martin later passed a three hour polygraph examination conducted by CI experts flown in from Fort Meade (Sep 19, 2013). At the conclusion of the polygraph MAJ Martin was told by Agent Harris that he “would hear no more about any of his ex’s accusations.” Despite all of this, BG Stammer consistently involved and re-involved himself in MAJ Martin’s case. He had him re-assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, secretly flagged him, fired him from his position, punished him, had him report daily to a junior officer with no assigned position, and then had MAJ Martin continually reinvestigated over and over again until BG Stammer could get the false statements he needed from (accuser) to justify a court martial.

On 11 July 2014, the charges were reviewed at an Article 32 pre-trial investigation. Despite the Defense not fighting any charges, only recording statements, on 3 August 2014, the investigating officer recommended that none of the sexual charges be referred to a court-martial as there were not reasonable grounds to go forward and witness testimony did not match the timelines and evidence given. The Prosecution then dropped (accuser’s) allegations of rape and sodomy on their own accord, because they knew she was a patently untruthful. Her Article 32 testimony changed repeatedly so often it was obviously a reckless disregard for the truth by her.

Despite this, BG Stammer overruled this recommendation and insisted all allegations should be resolved at a Court Martial. Military personnel facing a court martial may wish to approach a court martial attorney to help them form an effective defense in such legal proceedings. When MAJ Martin was later advised by his attorneys to resign, with the recommendation of the Prosecution including Special Victims Prosecutor MAJ Bashore, the lead prosecutor CPT Garrett, and even the alleged “victims” (accuser and her children), BG Stammer once again overruled them and demanded a Court Martial (EX CC, Memo ).

Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammer

Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammer

Further into their motion to dismiss, the defense attorneys highlighted specifics of the alleged UCI violations by General Stammer and prosecutors. Rather than stretch this out to include everything in the 37-page document, I’ll offer some of the allegations as bullet points:

• Acting outside of Army jurisdiction;

• Reassigning Major Martin after he lodged a Congressional inquiry about his situation;

• Launching a second investigation of Major Martin by Military Police Investigations (MPI) after the major had been cleared by a lengthy Army CID investigation;

• Retaliating against Major Martin after being contacted by the major’s father and sister, both Air Force retirees;

• Violating Major Martin’s right to due process;

• Creating a court-martial by initiating a third investigation;

• Witness tampering/obstruction of justice;

• Witness intimidation (at least two instances); and

• Illegal search.

There is much more to come for Major Martin, a man who put on his first military uniform as a private in 1986, marking the beginning of a career that would not only include serving as an Army Ranger, cavalry scout and attack helicopter pilot but also include becoming a Regular Army officer and serving three combat tours in Iraq.

Learn more about Major Martin and his case by reading this story as well as others. After you read them, please SHARE THEM and stay tuned for more updates!

This article was updated to reflect a change in the trial date.

UPDATE 12/7/2015 at 8:27 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 11:15 a.m. Central: I’ve learned that Major Martin’s military trial date is set for March 14-18, 2016.

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