The past seven days have kept me busy with research and writing about another sad case involving the Army’s relentless push to convict a military man based on a variety of allegations, including sexual assault, that multiple civilian and military investigations have already dismissed as unsubstantiated. The result of that work appears below in the form of my weekly update for Sept. 27 through Oct. 3, 2015.
Because I was a day late in publishing my previous weekly update and because they were part of a three-part series published Sept. 26-27, I ended up sharing brief details about two pieces — here and here — published Sept. 27 in that recap and won’t include them this week.
On Monday, Sept. 28, I published a piece under the headline, Army Ranger-Aviator Fights Uphill Battle to Prove Innocence as Military Court Denies Vast Majority of Witness Requests. In it, I shared details about defense witnesses who were prevented from testifying at a pre-trial hearing in the case of Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin, an Army Ranger and attack helicopter pilot who finds himself facing false allegations that could land him in prison for 58 years* if he’s convicted at his military trial set to begin Dec. 1 at Fort Campbell, Ky.
Later on Tuesday, I received news that the military judge overseeing the Army’s prosecution of Major Martin had flatly denied a defense motion alleging the presence of unlawful command influence and prosecutorial misconduct in the effort to convict the 29-year veteran who served three combat tours in Iraq. In turn, I shared details of the judge’s action under the headline, The Fix Is In: Army Judge Denies Defense Motion Concerning Unlawful Command Influence, Prosecutorial Misconduct.
On Tuesday, Sept. 29, I put together a recap of my coverage of Major Martin’s case during the previous month. It appeared under the self-explanatory headline, “Thirty Days of Hell in the Life of an Accused Army Officer,” and stands as a must-read for anyone wanting a synopsis of what this man has endured, especially in recent weeks.
On Thursday, Oct. 1, I shared the words Stacey Johnson wrote in a comment about the woman behind the sexual assault allegations against her ex-husband and father of her three children. They appear in a piece under the headline, Army Officer’s Ex-Wife: Accuser “Played Him Like a Fiddle.”
After spending time in the research room, I shared another piece Thursday about how Soldiers at Fort Campbell — including members of the vaunted 101st Airborne Division — are at a disadvantage when it comes to fighting sexual assault allegations. The details appear under the headline, Accused Fort Campbell Soldiers Up Against Sexual Offense Conviction Rate 16.5 Percent Higher Than Army Average.
On Friday, Oct. 2, I decided to share a paragraph I’d come across a few days earlier while reading Brad Taylor’s thriller, The Insider Threat. Why? Because it made me think about Major Martin’s case and the life-and-death subject matter I’d written about so many times in recent weeks. It also gave me the opportunity to offer my readers a challenge. It appears under the headline, Don’t Worry, You Won’t Have to Jump On A Grenade.
On a personal note, I accomplished a major health and fitness goal during the month of September, tackling 127,700 stair steps — an average of more than 4,200 per day — and beating my goal of 110,000 stair steps. Combined with my previous month’s effort, I logged more than 221,000 stair steps in 61 days — an average of more than 3,600 stair steps per day — at the suburban St. Louis lake where I exercise daily. Plus, I lost 11 lbs. along the way!
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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?”