Skip to comments.Last Haditha Defendant Denied Travel 0rders For Appeals Court Hearing (SSGT Frank Wuterich)
Posted on 03/18/2011 1:00:35 PM PDT by smoothsailing
March 15, 2011
Last Haditha Defendant Denied Travel 0rders For Appeals Court Hearing
SSgt Frank Wuterich remains the last Marine pending charges of manslaughter for the 2005 deaths of 24 Iraqi citizens in Haditha. His military appellate defense attorneys are presenting oral arguments before the highest military court, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF).
The pre-trial motions and appeals that have reached the highest court, involve the fact that his assigned active duty military attorneys retired from the Marine Corps without first properly being relived from representing SSgt Wuterich under proper courtroom procedures, including asking Wuterich whether he would prefer that they remain on his case. This severance of attorney/client privilege left SSgt Wuterich without his appointed active duty attorneys contrary to the Constitution, federal law and the Manual for Courts-Martial.
The CAAF has agreed to adjudicate an extraordinary writ appeal that Wuterichs appellate attorneys submitted requesting a stay in the general court-martial until the Marine Corps cures the improper severance of his representation by his active duty military attorneys who retired in 2008.
The CAAF rarely agrees to review issues prior to a court-martial and even more unusual is the request for oral arguments before the court in this type of pre-trial appeal. The arguments are scheduled for March 30th in Washington DC. SSgt Wuterich has been denied travel orders to attend the hearing. Instead, this Marine will have to request to take leave and pay for his own transportation and lodging to hear the arguments that can determine whether or not he faces a court-martial.
(More information available at post #1 below)
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
9:30 a.m.: Frank D. Wuterich v. David L. Jones, Military Judge, and United States, No. 11-8009/MC
Counsel for Appellant: Col Dwight H. Sullivan, USMCR
Counsel for Appellees: Brian K. Keller, Esq.
Case Summary: GCM prosecution for voluntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, and obstruction of justice. At trial, the Appellant moved to dismiss the charges or for other relief arising from the loss of one of his defense counsel. The military judge denied the motion, finding good cause to sever the attorney-client relationship due to a conflict of interest. Appellant filed a petition for extraordinary relief in the U.S. Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals. The court denied the petition without prejudice to Appellants right to raise the issue during the ordinary course of appellate review. On appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, the court remanded the case to the Court of Criminal Appeals for further consideration of the transcripts of the Article 39(a) sessions and the issue of whether the military judge abused his discretion in determining that good cause existed to sever the attorney-client relationship. Upon further review, the Court of Criminal Appeals determined that the military judge did not abuse his discretion, and it returned the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces for further proceedings.
NOTE: Counsel for each side will be allotted 20 minutes to present oral argument.
UPDATE MARCH 18, 2011- Even though the above hearing date is expected to proceed as scheduled, both DEFEND OUR MARINES and FrankWuterich.com are reporting that a seperate matter, the actual court-martial trial date has been postponed yet again. The new date is JUNE 27, 2011.
Now that John Murtha is pushing up daisies what excuse does the DOD have for treating Wuterich like this?
The military leadership just stinks.
It's pretty sad the Marine Ccorps wouldn't give SSgt. Wuterich travel orders for his appeal.
Thanks for posting this, Smooth.
Amazing, how long are they going to torture this poor guy! I cannot imagine having this kind of thing hanging over me for over 6 years now, nor putting up with all the BS that the government has thrown at him. One of the reasons why I would never recommend anyone join the military now, you’re cannon fodder to the higher ups and nothing more.
Man is this Marine being put through the rollers. It is so hard to believe the Marine Corps., would put him through all the ordeals he has had to face.
But this is just plain wrong. If the Marine Corps can court-martial him for doing his job, simple fairness dictates they ought to accommodate him attending his own case being heard on appeal. This is the chicken-s@#t kind of stuff private litigants do to each other, but the Corps ought to be above that. Don't they tell all who will listen they are?
A real commander-in-chief would intervene and direct the chain of command to provide a quick answer on what national security consideration is so urgent that a Marine can’t attend a hearing that will determine his future. Sadly for America, all we have is a community organizer who is too busy to attend to trivial details like the lives of the men who keep us free and safe.
Well said. His commander at Pendleton should have stepped in and had the orders cut.
And at the same time he failed to exercise any leadership over the Libya crisis. About all you can say is he's consistent between foreign and domestic policy - a consistent failure.
This is pure speculation on my part, but his commander may well have tried to get him travel papers but was blocked by the Pentagon bureaucrats.
You should include Bush in your rant as well since he had plenty of time to address this. Face it, the Haditha Marines were the fall guys for the higher ups and kind of a sacrafice to the Iraq government so that they can say, “see we are fair and will punish those evil soldiers”.
Innocent until proven guilty?
We take care of our own?
These actions undercut a tremendous amount of outstanding things the Marines do to take care of their own.
What's a grunt to believe? The recruiting posters or his lying eyes?
I really hate to say it, but I have to agree with you.
I wonder who it is. We should put him up on the Wall Of Shame.
Excuse? Hell, they don't have time for excuses, they're too busy naming ships after Murtha to bother themselves with SSGT Wuterich, a real living Marine.
Going on 6 (six!) years, and the Marines are still pursuing a combat veteran for actions taken on the battlefield, actions which were a response to an ambush that left a Marine dead and another seriously wounded... My disgust with these perfumed Pentagon princes continues to grow, and I thought that wasn’t possible.
And why didn’t somebody wake up Bush when he had the chance to bring this abomination to an end with a full pardon?
Once again, I am throwing up in my mouth a little.
Where’s Freeper “USAF Colonel” and “JAGWarrior” in all of this disgusting injustice? Their silence speaks volumes.
I don't know where they stand, but I would think pinging them to the thread would be a more courteous way to bring it to their attention.
Since neither Freeper name came up in preview as you spelled them I pinged Jagusafr - a JAG officer who might give us some insight to this case - and might not. FWIW.
Thanks Lancey, that should never be forgotten.
Semper Fi to Lance corporals Terrazas, Crossan and Rodriquez.
I gave up on complaining about Bush over two years ago. Bush did several dumb things and failed to do many more that he should have done, but there's no point in complaining now that he can't fix it. In theory, Obama could still do the right thing. In reality, that will only happen if Obama thinks such an action will harm America.
Smooth, jaz, do you guys know if LtCol Sullivan is lead counsel for the prosecution?
TS - I appreciate your courtesy. The fact is, 1) I haven’t seen the latest post from TPR, and 2) nothing I say is going to change his mind or do anything other than give him more rant fodder. Truth and fact, it appears, cannot penetrate his hatred for all things military leadership.
Having now read the post/initial thread, and knowing nothing of the underlying facts or procedural history, the short answer is that the defendant does not have a right to be present at arguments on a point of law, because evidence is not being presented. The right to confront one’s accusers/hostile witnesses is triggered by evidentiary hearings, not motions arguments. Should they issue permissive travel orders? Probably, from a pure public affairs standpoint. Must they? No.
LOL, quite colorful keywords added to this thread.
I thought I remembered he was replaced and just found this, don’t know if Erickson is still lead or not:
“February 15, 2008 — The chief prosecutor in the case against Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich has been replaced by Major Daren C. Erickson, a Camp Pendleton-based career Marine lawyer. Lt Col Sean Sullivan, a reservist from Chicago, led the governments case against Wuterich since the 27-year old infantryman was initially charged with perpetrating a massacre in Haditha, Iraq more than two years ago.”
Thanks, Colonel. Like you say, they should have from a public affairs standpoint.
Sullivan, a reserve Marine officer with no combat experience, is a Chicago lawyer who specializes in patent and trademark law, according to his law firms Internet site.
Nat Helms, author of the recent book My Men are Heroes, has written extensively about Haditha. He said: Sullivan, who is prosecuting Wuterich, may eventually face some heat of his own for how and why star prosecution witness [Lance Cpl.] Humberto Mendoza managed to get transferred to Sullivans Chicago-based reserve unit as a driver after he was granted immunity.
Thanks, Girl. Looks like the brass still want the cs Lt. Col. involved but out of the lime light.
What Sullivan pulled with Mendoza should be a courts-martial offense. It’s pretty clear from his bio he’s in the Jag Corps as a ticket puncher.
Thanks, smooth. Good reminder of Sean Sullivan’s “alleged” activities related to the Haditha cases. He is also named in the suit brought by Carolyn Martin vs NCIS (and others) I referred to in an earlier post.
I had an exciting Friday and missed this ping.
What is even more exciting is when Girlene saw those keywords, she thought of me. How sweet. LOL
What? Haditha? of course I thought of you......you’ve been a consistent follower of these threads.
LOL. My Favorite Haditha/Defend our Marines picture, evah!
G'Night Y'all! ;-)
Funny things, those coincidences. (Thanks)
Whoops, wrong Sullivan
Perhaps the others who are pushing up daisies deserve the truth behind their death ?