Court Martial Case Results
Below are real court-martial case results
Note: All military cases are different. A success in one case does not guarantee success in another similar case. We do not guarantee a certain outcome, to do so violates the Rules of Professional Responsibility. In addition, the results of the case often depend on the facts, whether the client follows our advice and the stage of the proceeding at which our services are retained. Please call us with any questions or for clarification.
THESE RECENT CASES SHOW THAT IN THE MILITARY, THE DEFENDANT IS GUILTY UNLESS & UNTIL THE SERVICE MEMBER CAN PROVE HIS OR HER INNOCENCE, ESPECIALLY IN A SEXUAL ASSAULT CASE.
U.S. v. Navy O-3 –Naval Base Coronado, CA – tried at Naval Base San Diego, CA
Allegations: 6 Specifications of Article 120 Rape/Sexual Assault – Two Alleged Victims
Max Punishment: 120 years in prison, Dismissal, Sex offender registration
Result: NOT GUILTY OF ALL CHARGES
Location/Branch/Rank: Naval Base Coronado, San Diego, CA/Navy/O-3
Our client, a Navy SEAL officer, was accused of raping two women that allegedly did not know each other. Both “victims” were attractive white women with professional careers. Both were heavily coached by the Navy’s top prosecutor.
How it All Began…
“Victim One” was a 38-year-old physician’s assistant. She met our client on Bumble, a dating app. She worked as a surgeon at a local hospital. She was well educated, physically fit, and well-spoken.
Victim One claimed that she went to our client’s apartment because they were going out for drinks. She told the police that when she entered his apartment, he assaulted her. For four hours, she fought him off and he eventually raped her. The next day, she filed an official report with the San Diego Police Department. She went to the hospital where a nurse conducted a Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE). Afterward, Victim One called our client and recorded the phone call. Our client denied assaulting her and told her that he was sorry that she was upset.
Then, Victim One encouraged another woman, Victim Two, to claim that our client raped her as well. The defense did not learn of this fact until right before trial.
The second woman was also a professional woman that was attractive and well-spoken. This was a challenge for the defense because male jurors tend to believe attractive female witnesses, especially if they are the victim. Needless to say, our client faced an uphill battle.
The Link – a Frog Hog & Local Gossip
It was crucial that we found some link between the two women. We used a private investigator, but he found nothing. As the trial date approached, we caught a break. The women had a mutual friend that was a Navy SEAL groupie (a “frog hog” as known by locals) and a local San Diego gossip. She connected the two when she learned that both knew our client. Behind the scenes, this Frog Hog played a key role in fanning the flames and trying to push the case forward.
According to Urban Dictionary: A “Frog Hog” is “a slutty woman whose primary goal is to get her hooks into a Navy SEAL.”
“A Frog Hog is an obsessive woman who will do anything just to be associated with Navy SEALs. Frog Hogs use the internet to find every Navy SEAL possible on Facebook, past or present, and “like” and comment on every single thing that any Navy SEAL posts on their profile, and do so with an enormous degree of ass kissing. They also read through everyone’s comments on that particular SEAL’s profile and can figure out who other Navy SEALs are by creeping on their Facebook pages. They then friend request those men and exhibit the same kind of behavior. They also get overly dramatic in facebook arguments, and give their opinions when no one asked them to in the first place, and get extremely defensive over the SEALs that they stalk, even though they may have never met or barely know these men, yet act like they are best friends.”
After they got connected, Victim One tried to convince Victim Two to accuse our client of rape. In one text, Victim One wrote, “We are stronger together.” Their text messages talked about the #MeToo movement, Harvey Weinstein, and defeating “rape culture” in America.
Navy Press Release
After the Command preferred charges, someone in the Navy leaked negative information to the media. The press went on to smear our client’s name leading up to the trial.
Before trial, the Military Judge ruled that we could not use much of the MRE 412 evidence that exposed the alleged victims. Thus, we were fighting with one arm tied behind our back and the jury was not able to get the full picture of who these women were.
As far as the jury knew, they were angels, which was far from the truth.
Trial By Jury
Our client demanded a jury trial and we prepared for battle. The Navy assigned a female Commander (O-5), one of the most experienced prosecutors in the Naval Service, to try the case.
The challenge we faced was cross-examining these seemingly credible women. Both were well coached by the prosecution. Both took the stand and told their harrowing accounts of rape. Many witnesses testified against our client, including an NCIS agent, a digital forensic expert, a sex assault forensic examiner, and a San Diego Sex Crime Investigator. On cross-examination, the defense tore them apart.
After the government’s last witness, the defense rested and called no witnesses. The jury deliberated for an entire day before delivering a verdict of NOT GUILTY of all charges.
After the verdict, Mr. Waddington joined his client, his family, and his SEAL buddies for drinks at the Top of the Hyatt in San Diego.
Call our experienced military sexual assault defense lawyers today for help finding the best court martial attorneys for your case.
U.S. v. Air Force O-3 – Los Angeles Air Force Base, Los Angeles, CA
Allegations: Wrongful Use of Cocaine – Article 112a, False Official Statement – Article 107
Max Punishment: 10 years in prison, Dismissal
Result: NOT GUILTY OF ALL CHARGES
Location/Branch/Rank: Los Angeles Air Force Base, Los Angeles, CA/Air Force/O-3
Our client was charged with using cocaine on several occasions and with lying on a Top Secret security clearance form. She faced 10 years in prison, a Federal Felony Drug Conviction, and a Dismissal. The prosecution had a 2-hour video of her alleged confession to OSI and a supposed handwritten OSI “confession.” OSI is shady, so we had to attack their investigation and show their bias and incompetence.
OSI then dug up dozens of her friends and was able to bully a few officers into testifying against her. The prosecution refused any type of plea deal as well as a resignation with an Other Than Honorable Discharge. They forced us to trial. The Government was so confident that they would win that the SJA was talking trash to Mr. Waddington before the trial.
Left with no options and ready to fight, Mr. Waddington and his ADC co-counsel, Capt Stuart Saylor, took the fight to the Government and fought all charges in front of an officer jury. At the end of the trial, Mr. Waddington and Capt Saylor went out for drinks, our client and her father included.
RESULT: NOT GUILTY OF ALL CHARGES. Click here to read what our client had to say about our representation.
U.S. v. Navy E-7 – NAS Oceana, Virginia – tried at NAS Norfolk
Original Allegations: Sexual assault x 2 victims, Assault Consummated by Battery, Obstructing Justice, various other offenses
Max Punishment: 30+ years in prison, Dishonorable Discharge/BCD, Sex offender registration, Loss of Retirement
Result: NOT GUILTY OF ALL CHARGES
Location/Branch/Rank: NAS Oceana, Virginia – tried at NAS Norfolk/Navy/E-7
Our client was a mobilized Navy Reserve Chief (Chief X). He was assigned to a sexual assault task force. When he arrived at his unit, Chief X met a female Chief, (“Chief Victim”). They immediately began a sexual relationship. At the time, Chief Victim was married. However, she told our client and everyone in the unit that she was divorced. Meanwhile, she was collecting BAH. During the affair, Chief Victim was trying to become a Naval Officer. While she was committing adultery, her officer application was being processed.
Six weeks into the affair, our client dumped Chief Victim.
The breakup caused problems in the office as people spread rumors and took sides. Many of the females in the office shunned our client. Four months after he dumped her, Chief Victim accused our client of sexual assault. She claimed that he attacked her in the middle of the night as she slept.
Chief Victim then convinced her best friend, another E-7, to join in the investigation, as a second “victim.”
The second woman told NCIS that our client sexually assaulted her at a dance club.
NCIS – Biased and Incompetent
NCIS launched an investigation and spent most of their time trying to find more women to accuse our client. They did not look into the history of the alleged victim. Instead, they tried to entrap our client with a recorded phone call and texting.
Leading the charge was an overzealous Marine prosecutor with a flat top and a constant scowl. In this case, NCIS and the prosecution spent 2 years smearing our client’s name. They interviewed dozens of women, trying to get them to accuse Chief X of crimes. Then, they targeted our client’s family. The prosecutor and his minion paralegal injected themselves into our client’s child custody case. The custody case had nothing to do with the NCIS investigation.
To hurt our client, the Marine prosecution team improperly fed Chief X’s ex-wife confidential information from the NCIS report, much of which was false or in dispute. His ex-wife was not entitled to this information. But, she used it to get the upper hand and blocked Chief X from seeing his young son for 18 months.
As our client’s life was torn apart, Chief Victim got commissioned as a Naval Officer. The Navy forgave her adultery, lying, and other misconduct.
Don’t Trust “the System”
All this time, Chief X had faith in the system. After 22 years of unblemished service, he thought the Navy would “do the right thing.” He was wrong.
After a lengthy investigation, the Navy charged our client with sexual assault, assault, obstruction of justice, and other charges. The case was referred to a Special Court Martial which lowered the max to 1 year and a BCD. At this point, they planned to convict him and take his retirement.
Then, the Navy gave our client a Coast Guard lawyer with almost no experience as a defense lawyer. This lawyer told Chief X that he had no chance of success at trial and tried to force him to plead guilty.
This Coast Guard lawyer was the prosecutor from US v. Josi, a case that Mr. Waddington successfully defended in 2017. In that case, she committed UCI when she conspired with CGIS to put a key defense witness on the Terrorist No Fly List. They did this by intentionally giving the US State Department false and misleading information. Their goal was to prevent the witness from flying to the USA to testify in our client’s defense. Here is the Judge’s ruling in that case. The witness then sued the US Government. Here is the link to that case.
Hiring a Civilian Lawyer – Firing Military Defense Counsel
Finally, in Sept 2017, Chief X hired our firm. The first thing we told him to do was to fire his Coast Guard defense lawyer.
Then, the Navy assigned LT Claire Rumler and LT Justin Bass to defend Chief X along with Mr. and Mrs. Waddington. Rumler and Bass were smart, aggressive, and motivated to fight. Together, we mounted a hard-hitting defense that exposed the Government’s witch hunt. Meanwhile, the Marine prosecutor was replaced with a new Marine prosecutor.
The Destructive Power of Cross-Examination
At trial, Mr. Waddington hammered the prosecution’s witnesses on cross-examination. We exposed their lies and NCIS’s incompetency. Through cross-examination, we showed how the corrupt command targeted our client.
After battering the prosecution for two days, their case was in tatters. The defense called no witnesses, presented no evidence, and rested.
The jury deliberated for 80 minutes and acquitted our client of all charges.
Finally, Chief X can return home and raise his son.
U.S. v. Army E-8 – SOUTHCOM, Miami, FL/El Salvador tried at Fort Sam Houston, TX
Allegations: Rape x 2 Specifications, Forcible Oral & Anal Sodomy x 4 Specifications
Max Punishment: 2 Life Sentences + 40 years in prison, Dishonorable Discharge, Sex offender registration, Loss of Retirement
Result: NOT GUILTY OF ALL CHARGES
Location/Branch/Rank: SOUTHCOM, Miami, FL/El Salvador/tried at Fort Sam Houston, TX/Army/E-8
NCIS Teams Up with a Corrupt Regime & Tries to Convict Special Forces Veteran
Since the 1980s, the USA has worked with El Salvador to confront terrorism, drug trafficking, and human rights abuses. In 2009, Mauricio Funes was elected President. Funes is an anti-American communist. In many of his speeches, he bashes the United States.
In 2017, Funes was convicted of various crimes, including corruption. He then fled to Honduras with his mistress, Ada Mitchell Guzmán Sigüenza, the Kim Kardashian of El Salvador.
During his reign, the United States gave the country over $119 million a year in Federal Aid. As part of that aid, the Salvadorian President reluctantly agreed to have a small US military footprint. Despite the aid, US/Salvadorian relationship was at a historic low. The President took US money but did not want US involvement. After his election, the US Special Forces footprint in El Salvador was reduced to one man, our client. Our client was not a welcome guest.
Our client was a Special Forces E-8 that worked as an advisor to a covert Salvadorian Special Forces Unit.
When he moved to El Salvador, he was given a small house on the Salvadorian base. Soon after arriving, he interviewed a local Salvadorian housekeeper and hired her to clean his house. This woman was connected to the El Salvadorian Army and knew many soldiers on the base.
After he hired her, they had sex. He drove her home, off base, and they parted ways. The housekeeper was supposed to report for work the next morning. Later that evening, the housekeeper called and tried to renegotiate the terms of their agreement. She wanted more money and fewer hours of work. Our client told her “no” and said that if she was not at work the next day at 0600 hours, then she was fired. The woman called back and argued for more money. Then, our client fired her. This was the woman’s only employment and she was paid a good wage in US currency, especially compared to local housekeepers.
Blame the Yankee: An International Incident
The woman got upset and told her husband that an American soldier “me abuso.” Her husband then beat and raped her to reclaim his honor (this came out in court on cross-examination). The woman then called the Salvadorian base commander, a Colonel, and asked him for help getting her job back. She told the Colonel that the American “me abuso.” The woman was interviewed by multiple people and the story grew over time. Then, the US Embassy and Salvadorian government got involved. The case involved the highest levels of the Salvadorian government and US State Department as calls to arrest and prosecute the American soldier grew. As rumors spread and local soldiers were interviewed, the situation spiraled out of control. Our client’s life was in danger and he was secretly evacuated from El Salvador at night.
When NCIS showed up, they interviewed the woman. However, their Spanish speaking skills were poor. In their interview, the woman told NCIS that the American “me abuso.” In their report, NCIS wrote that our client violently raped and sodomized her. Later, the woman described the incident as a violent bloody struggle. NCIS took her to see a Salvadorian doctor who did a Rape Test kit. In the examination, the doctor allegedly found injuries to the vagina and anus. The doctor pinned the injuries on our client and claimed that the husband could not have caused the injuries, “because they were married.”
In the NCIS report, there was physical evidence, DNA, and numerous witnesses ready and willing to hang our client. The El Salvadoran Government wanted our client in jail. To appease the Salvadorans, the American Government spared no expense to win this case. It became an international incident between the US & El Salvador and their government used it to prove that Americans are bad. Losing this case was not an option for the US Government.
Before this case went to trial, the US Government tried to make amends by hiring the alleged victim to work at the US Embassy.
Our Client Passed Polygraph
After the investigation started, our client took and passed a polygraph and provided evidence to prove his innocence to the US Government. SOUTHCOM disregarded all of his evidence and fought to suppress it at trial. They wanted to make an example out of this soldier and gain favor with El Salvador by sacrificing one of their own.
To gain an upper hand, the prosecution denied almost all defense witnesses. However, they flew up numerous Salvadoran witnesses and Americans from across the USA to testify against our client. They also brought the Salvadoran doctor who fought Mr. Waddington on every question, even simple ones.
At trial, the Army translator was not a native Spanish speaker. During the testimony, he improperly paraphrased the “victim’s” testimony and misinterpreted multiple words and phrases. Mr. Waddington and several jurors spoke Spanish and we caught and corrected his mistakes.
To further stack the deck, the Army appointed one of the top Special Victim Prosecutors (SVP) in the DoD. Then, they brought in a nationally known civilian prosecutor and expert in sexual assault prosecutions (similar to Nancy Grace) to work with the prosecution and get a conviction.
Mr. Waddington and Captain Dustin Murphy, along with legendary DNA expert, Dean Wideman, mounted a defense for our client with limited resources. Our client testified in his defense and crushed the prosecutor on cross-examination. We proved that the alleged victim was a hustler and liar, her husband raped her, and that the DNA evidence proved our client’s innocence.
RESULT: NOT GUILTY OF ALL CHARGES
Discussion of a case where someone can make a false rape allegation & win soldier of the year:
U.S. v. Army CW2 – Fort Gordon, GA
Allegations: RAPE, Fraternization, Adultery
Max Punishment: LIFE, Dismissal, Sex Offender Registration
Result: ALL CHARGES DISMISSED
Discharge: RETIRED WITH AN HONORABLE
Location/Branch/Rank: Fort Gordon – Augusta, GA/Army/CW2
Summary: This case is disgraceful. It shows that without proper legal representation, a false allegation can ruin your life. Even if you prove that the allegation is false, the military can still try to destroy you.
Our African American client was a married Warrant Officer. A white female Army Reserve NCO accused him of rape. This case was vigorously defended for over two years.
The alleged “victim” claimed that an “unknown black man” broke into her home and violently raped and beat her. She had injuries and DNA evidence to support the allegation. Georgia police arrested our client and Army CID investigated him. To make matters worse, the alleged victim’s wife was in our client’s unit.
Our client made no statement to the police and hired our firm. We quickly got the true story and our client provided us with videos of his consensual sexual activity with the “victim.” In reality, he was having an affair with her. After a few months, she began asking him for money to pay for gas and her phone bill. He obliged. Then, she demanded that he give her $7,000 to pay for in vitro fertilization. Our client refused. That is when she made the false police report. She even had a “Go Fund Me” page soliciting money for the pregnancy.
When we presented the sex videos to the GA police, they dropped the charges. We didn’t present all of the evidence, just the videos.
In the sex videos, it was clear that she knew our client and they had an ongoing consensual sexual relationship. She fabricated the entire story.
Did the Army do the right thing? Continue reading….
Keep in mind, the Army teaches that alleged “victims” should never be questioned or doubted. They must be believed.
When they got the sex videos, CID informed the false victim. Instead of confronting her or charging her with perjury, they helped her to come up with a different story.
Our client forced her into a sexual relationship and then forced her to become a prostitute. She said that he recorded the sex videos without her permission (which is a felony). She now claimed to be deeply traumatized by the sex videos. These videos show two people engaging in consensual sex and prove that she made a false rape allegation.
We also had social media news evidence that showed that she initiated the relationship and that they were on friendly terms. This evidence proved that she was not a sex slave. When she learned of the additional evidence, she changed her story again.
They had sex, but she desperately wanted a baby and he used her emotional weakness against her. The sex was not consensual because she only did it because she thought he may be able to help her get a baby.
Instead of stopping the madness, the Army gave our client Article 15 for adultery. They included the CID rape investigation as part of the packet, knowing the rape allegation was completely false.
Then, they initiated a separation. Again, they included the false rape allegations as evidence against our client.
The separation was based on various factors, including adultery, conduct unbecoming (for having sex with a soldier’s wife), filming the sex, and various other allegations.
Mr. Waddington traveled to Augusta to fight the allegations at the board. However, at the board, the prosecution did not call the alleged victim or her ex-wife (the victim divorced her wife and married a man during this process). The prosecution’s case was based on the CID file and the sex videos. We were not able to cross-examine the false victim or her wife at the board.
The board recommended a General Under Honorable Conditions Discharge. The fight continued. Before the discharge was approved, we made an effort to allow our client to medically retire.
RESULT: CLIENT WAS ABLE TO MEDICALLY RETIRE.
The false “victim” remains in the Army and won soldier of the year after her false allegation was exposed. People consider her a hero and survivor. Her peers see her as a role model, although she falsely accused a fellow soldier of rape and perjured herself. No one took action for perjury, false reports, or false official statement. She now claims to be a victim of Military Sexual Trauma (MST) and will be able to get a lifetime service-connected disability based on her false rape allegation.
Remember, her original story. An “unknown black man” broke into her house and violently raped and beat her. She relied on racism and prejudice and the Army fell for it. If you are a minority service member accused of a sex crime, especially if the “victim” is white, then you face an uphill battle. Even if you are 100% innocent and prove your innocence, many will still believe that you are guilty. We see this every day. It is a fact of life.
The idea that a white woman would never lie about rape has been around for years. The book/movie, To Kill a Mockingbird, deals with this issue. We encourage you to watch the movie or read the book. In this story, a black man was convicted of rape, despite his innocence and then lynched by an angry mob the next day. We see this fact pattern play out in military courts across the USA. While no-one is literally lynched, this process destroys many innocent lives.
The DoD sexual assault program feeds into this problem because they teach service members, in mandatory training, that a woman never lies about being sexually assaulted. They teach that anyone who questions a rape allegation is “victim-blaming” and “slut-shaming.” Lawyers that defend service members (like our lawyers) are commonly accused of being “sexists” and “misogynists,” simply because they do their job and seek the truth behind sexual assault allegations. Some allegations are true, some are false, and often the truth is in the middle. Prosecutors and investigators have a duty to seek the truth. In reality, they seek convictions and bend the truth. A skilled defense lawyer is your last line of defense in a world where people deem you guilty no matter what.
Criminal Defense Lawyers
U.S. v. Coast Guard E-5 – USCG Base Kodiak, Alaska – tried in the Federal building in Juneau
Allegations: Article 120 Rape, Sexual Assault, Physical Assault, Spousal Abuse
Max Punishment: 70+ years in prison, Dishonorable Discharge, Sex offender registration
Result: NOT GUILTY OF ALL CHARGES
Location/Branch/Rank: USCG Base Kodiak, Alaska tried in Juneau, Alaska/USCG/E-5
Our client was accused of beating and raping his estranged wife. While our client was at sea, she was hooking up with a local fisherman, “Steve.” Steve claimed to be a former Army Ranger with a Purple Heart. In fact, he never served in the military. He is a local Alaskan fisherman that picks up local Coast Guard wives, lies to them, and has sex with them while their husbands serving our country, at sea. He is a low-life POS. But, the Coast Coast JAGs and the Command was led around, by their noses, by this scumbag.
Our client was given a no-contact order and kicked out of his home by the Coast Guard. He was also not allowed to see his two young boys so he hired a lawyer and filed for a divorce. Meanwhile, Steve moved into our client’s home and was driving his truck around Kodiak, with our client’s kids and wife.
Corrupt CGIS agents took the alleged victim’s statement and tried to frame our client. They failed to collect exculpatory evidence and permitted the victim and Steve to destroy evidence. Then, CGIS interviewed our client and claimed that he “confessed.” The CGIS reports were poorly written and were full of false and misleading information. They paraphrased and cherrypicked parts of witness statements and pasted them into their ROI in order to make the accused look guilty.
Michael Waddington and Navy defense lawyer, LT Michael Ellis, fought the allegations in front of a mixed officer and enlisted jury. The defense impeached the alleged victim with numerous text messages and social media posts. The victim had tried to delete these messages but they were recovered by the defense.
The defense proved that our client’s wife had an affair with a local fisherman and then used the rape allegation in order to win child custody. The supposed victim and her fisherman boyfriend went to great lengths to try and destroy the life and career of our client.
Steve threatened Mr. Waddington via text messages in an attempt to intimidate him on the eve of trial. Their plan backfired.
The defense presented numerous threatening texts to the jury at trial, including messages where Steve and the victim insulted the Coast Guard and threatened to destroy our client. We called the lying victim’s mother who testified that her daughter is not truthful. (See sample screenshots below).
The jury deliberated for 50 minutes and acquitted him of all charges. Waddington and Ellis went out to celebrate and drank some local beer.
U.S. v. Army E-6 – Fort Polk, LA/JRTC
Don’t dump the prosecutor’s paralegal… or, you’ll be charged with rape!
Allegations: DOUBLE RAPE, 2 VICTIMS
Max Punishment: 2 LIFE SENTENCES
Result: NOT GUILTY OF ALL CHARGES
Location: Fort Polk, LA & Kandahar, Afghanistan
Summary: Our client, a Combat Engineer, was accused of raping two women (a US Army soldier/JAG Paralegal and one British citizen). Later, the prosecution claimed that he sexually assaulted two additional people, for a total of four alleged victims. He faced 14 different allegations, over 100 years in prison, and sex offender registration. Mr. Waddington and CPT Brian Greco defended this case.
The two primary victims have scorned ex-lovers out for revenge.
This trial was like an episode of Dr. Phil mixed with Jerry Springer. In and out of court, there was crying, lying, and a lot of drama. We had a local stripper in the audience, a bunch of British witnesses that hated each other, and the British victim kept accusing the defense of intimidation because we were laughing with our client outside of court at the smoke pit, which was completely authorized. She peeped out the window and was offended by us laughing. The prosecutor then scolded us for laughing in public and asked us to stay hidden. Our response was to laugh even louder.
Military Sexual Assault Defenses : Mistake of Fact Explained by a Military Defense Lawyer
When the trial began, the prosecutor was literally crying during her opening statement while pointing at my client and calling him a rapist.
The two alleged rape victims took 3-4 hours EACH to tell their stories. It was painfully boring. The prosecutor kept asking, “How did you feel?” about every minor detail of the case. While how they “felt” was not relevant, the defense intentionally did not object. Instead, we let them blab on and on to the point where the jury stopped listening. 90 minutes into their testimony, the jury stopped paying attention and some jurors were falling asleep. Few people can pay attention to 4 hours of fake sobbing. After the first box of tissues, the jury tuned her out.
On cross-examination, these witnesses were quickly cut to shreds when confronted with lie after lie. After impeaching her with numerous blatant lies, one victim’s neck (the JAG paralegal) started to twitch. It would have been amusing, but for the fact that our client sat falsely accused of heinous crimes.
During Mr. Waddington’s closing argument, the paralegal “victim” brought her husband into the court to watch. When Mr. Waddington talked about all of her lying and cheating, she ran out of the courtroom in tears, in the middle of the closing. Apparently, she never told her husband about her love affair with my client or the fact that she was bragging about my client’s sexual prowess to fellow soldiers, while she was with her husband.
The jury deliberated for about 60 minutes. The defense witnesses went out to party and Mr. Waddington went to his hotel to rest for his next case the following Monday in Norfolk, VA.
U.S. v. Army O-3 – Fort Buchanan, PR – Fort Rucker, AL
Allegations: BAH & OHA fraud, Larceny of Government property over $91,000, False official statement, Conspiracy
Max Punishment: 65 years in prison, Dismissal
Result: During the trial, we got three charges dismissed, Not Guilty of conspiracy, Guilty of stealing OHA, BAH, and false official statement.
Sentence: NO JAIL TIME. $20,000 fine, and a dismissal.
Location/Branch/Rank: Fort Buchanan, PR – Fort Rucker, AL/Army/O-3
Our client was accused of stealing over $91,000 in housing allowance from the US government (both OHA and BAH while stationed in Puerto Rico). He was also accused of false official statement and teaching an E-7 coworker how to defraud the Government. In addition, he was accused of collecting BAH for his ex-wife, while divorced. He faced over 65 years in prison, a dismissal, and total forfeiture of pay and allowances. At trial, our goal was to mitigate the damage and save our client from a lengthy prison sentence.
Mr. Waddington and CPT Brennan Breeland fought the case in front of an officer jury packed with senior Army Aviators. The jury consisted of Colonels and Lieutenant Colonels, a tough audience. The prosecution called an E-7 who testified that our client confessed to stealing OHA and taught him how to do it. Also, experts from finance and housing explained that the money was stolen through a bogus lease. Several witnesses from Puerto Rico, including the landlord, testified against our client. Three witnesses stated that our client admitted to receiving OHA that he was not entitled to. Additionally, the prosecution presented incriminating emails from our client.
We attacked each witness head-on and impeached them with their lies and biases.
During the trial, we got three charges dismissed and the jury found him not guilty of teaching the E-7 how to defraud the Government, despite the E-7’s direct testimony. In the end, our client was convicted of stealing OHA, BAH, and false official statements.
Going into sentencing, he faced 35 years in prison. We argued for no jail time.