Skip to comments.Soldier's sanity debated in murder case
Posted on 12/02/2010 11:02:10 AM PST by smoothsailing
Published: Dec. 1, 2010 at 3:58 PM
FORT CARSON, Colo., Dec. 1 (UPI) -- A Colorado hearing for an Army private, accused of killing a prisoner in Afghanistan, heard conflicting reports on his mental state.
Soldiers testified by telephone from Afghanistan Tuesday for Pfc. David Lawrence's preliminary hearing at Fort Carson, the Denver Post reported.
Lawrence, 20, is charged with premeditated murder for allegedly killing Taliban commander Mullah Mohebullah in his cell Oct. 17, hours after his capture. The defense portrays a troubled young man who was put on antidepressants and sent back to his unit, while the prosecution says Lawrence is feigning mental illness.
One witness, Pfc. Dimitri Jenkins said Lawrence, a "good friend," was "up and down."
"Sometimes you could tell he was on his meds, something in his eyes," Jenkins said.
But others said they saw him after the killing and heard him talk about claiming an insanity defense.
"It was something along the lines of his attorney is going to try to pull the crazy card," said Pvt. Aaron Rederstorf, recounting a statement he said he overheard after Lawrence was in custody.
The army must bear someresponsibility if they employed someone not trained to do the job. The young man’s mental condition must be proven, normal or impaired before he can be held responsible.
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The army must bear some responsibility
That's not the way is works. And I see them downplaying this "coalition forces" angle best they can. Pin it all on one kid with some mental issues. Wouldn't want anyone to think any of our troops over there are disaffected. Big Brass has to show they are in control.
Bet that number of disaffected troops is gonna really grow if they repeal DADT.
Well said, bhf.
I’m sure you’re right and the most important thing is for David Lawrence to get help.
PFC Lawrence was moved to a mental health facility for treatment yesterday evening. See the latest AP Story: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jCP4Ygk_RBW_r5FGsjAlnqmOPapw?docId=e9530b65a6a14910a4729e3b83006726
While you are at it, read about the death of the chaplain that sent this young man into a downward spiral: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-chaplain-20101202,0,1891421.story?page=1
So yes, believe that the voices and mental illness are real.
Another update, this looks encouraging in terms of holding the Army back until PFC Lawrence’s status is medically established.
An Army panel is working to determine whether Lawrence is sane enough to stand trial.
In military court, a defendant can be found innocent if it is determined mental illness left him unable to appreciate the nature and quality or wrongfulness of a crime.
Also, under court-martial rules, a defendant may not stand trial if they arent competent to understand whats happening in the courtroom or participate in their own defense.
Culp argued during the hearing that Lawrence, who frequently fell asleep at the defense desk, didnt understand the proceeding.
He said Friday that its doubtful the evaluation of Lawrence will be finished by a Dec. 10 deadline set by the Army, which could delay further proceedings.
If the mental evaluation takes more time, it could be weeks before a Fort Carson general decides whether Lawrence will stand trial.
Thanks for the links.
Whether David Lawrence was “motivated” by a serious illness, or something else, IMO, he did the right thing.
Take a look a the big picture.
I would bet way over half of the conflict in the world is because of radical islam. The Middle East, the Phillipines, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia. Russia, and it’s former satellites. Bosnia. Chechnya. Turkey falls away. Yemen is a new home. It is seemingly an endless parade.
Iran and their pet raving lunatic.
The troubles in Pakistan.
The troubles in India.
The troubles in western Europe.
NYC. Fort Hood. Portland. Oklahoma City.
The Oklahoma City bombing had ties to radical islam.
Most of the countries that support terrorism are moslem
Most acts of terrorism in the world are committed by islamites.
We are in Afghanistan to take the war on terror to one of it’s main sources. Yet it is nothing more than a political dance.
The US govt. has given us the Patriot Act, the TSA, Homeland Security. For what reason? To protect us from radical islam. To the point we are all suspects and rights and freedoms are set aside to “protect” us.
The FBI spying on AMERICANS.
Your grandma can’t cross the street without some govt. agency making sure those knitting needles in her bag aren’t loaded.
To protect us from radical islam.
The moderate moslems are ok. Right.
The problem with the moslems is they change their loyalties like my wife changes her underwear (I would’ve used myself as an example, but, well...)
The Govt. tells citizens they can’t protest islam. It might piss them off. But it is ok to piss on the Flag. On MY religious beliefs. On the Constitution.
Soldiers are trained to kill. Their mission in foreign lands is to kill the enemy.
islam is the enemy. moslems are the ENEMY.
Just think of the conflicts and controversy that would simply disappear without islam in the world.
People say “We are not like that” “That’s not what we’re here for” “We would be the savages”
Sure, yeah, RIGHT. Shut up. You have no right to protest being probed, groped, investigated, indicted, prosecuted, IMPRISONED.
Wipe islam in all its form(s) from the face of the planet and excise it’s name from the memory of mankind forever.
It is the ONLY way.
(My use of “islam and “moslem” instead of “Islam” and “Muslim” is intentional. They DO NOT deserve even that much respect)
Other than medication, is there any help for schizophrenia? I think a great deal of mental illness is caused by chemical imbalance in the body. Sadly, mMost doctors know nothing about nutrition.
I understood from years ago that some drugs (mostly illegal type) could have something to do with the onset of schizophrenia but I don’t know if that’s true.
I personally know of two cases, one from the early fifties and one the seventies. Both were cases that the only time the people were away from their hospital environment were for supervised home visits. They were heavily medicated all the time and have both since passed away.
I’m sure there are better medications and treatments now, especially as opposed to what the earlier person got.
I believe that, like alcoholism, mental illnesses, even physical abnormalities, are in the gene pool. They are passed down through the generations.
I wonder if Pvt. Lawrence was dosed with Prozac, or a like drug.Prozac is a very dangerous mind altering drug. Rather than calming, in some people it causes suicide or even lethal violence.
Release of top Taliban fighters concerns U.S.
Fri Dec 3, 11:52 PM
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States has expressed its concern to the Afghan government about reports Afghan security forces have freed captured senior Taliban for payment or political motives, a U.S. State Department spokesman said on Friday.
Reuters was first to report on November 30 that the freeing of top Taliban fighters was widespread, with President Hamid Karzai and his powerful brother among those authorizing and requesting releases.
The practice is so frequent that the Taliban has organized a committee that works solely to get their fighters out of jail.
Great catch, Smooth.
I suppose the going price for release depends on just how high up the Taliban chain of command the captured turkey is.
Mulla Mubah was supposedly quite high up and surely had to cost Karsai a tidy sum. I’d bet Karsai’s cash cow doesn’t pay for bodies.
I was thinking the same thing. With the Karzai brothers, almost anything is all about the money. I imagine after some more years, those boys will be living high on the hog here in the USA and giving lectures at our universities.
Good info. Lines up with what I suspect.
One other thing. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out some of David Lawrence’s fellow soldiers took advantage of his mental condition.
But he still did the right thing.
Most doctors know nothing about nutrition.
Doesn't stop them from taking a BIG bite out of my wallet though.
I believe you may be right, especially if it’s true several other prisoners were taken out of that cell shortly before the incident.
He had been in Afghanistan, his first deployment, for four months when the prisoner was killed. Before his guard duty assignment, he was part of a security detail for the battalion commander, which meant repeated missions "outside the wire" and exposure to the threat of snipers and roadside bombs.
This is interesting, and goes with your "other soldiers" reference, Fred.
any mention of a battalion commander or security detail seems to have been scrubbed from the LA Times website's Tony Perry articles.
So, was Lawrence not fit to remain on the security detail, but fit to guard a high profile prisoner?
I haven’t had a chance to ask my other source yet. Haven’t seen them in person. There are things we don’t discuss using electronic media. If I get anything new I will let you know.
I take it back, the article wasn’t scrubbed, here’s a link
So, once the docs in Kandahar got Lawrence drugged up on antidepressants and sleeping pills, did the battalion commander kick him off his security detail and stick him on guard duty? That’s sure what it looks like.
Well, Mrs. Smooth and I are off to dinner and socializing, I’ll check in later tonight.
Interesting thought...Very possibly one of the things the brass wanted kept under the radar.
Have a great evening! :)
THANK YOU! So glad to be here! TOTA it is. Thanks for the new name.
I’m just lazy, TOTA is easier to type but it sings. ;-)
No, jaz, I really like it! It sings to me, too. Lol.
Well aware that Almighty God hath created the mind free; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burdens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion, who being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do; that the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavoring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world, and through all time;...---The Virginia Act For Establishing Religious Freedom, Thomas Jefferson, 1786
Thanks bigheadfred for the link, and thanks smoothsailing for the topic.
I don’t understand why some of his fellow soldiers would care enough about a dead terrorist to snitch on a fellow Marine? There are times when it’s better to make believe you heard nothing at all. They must be looking for a promotion.