The Army Blotter: 'Delusional' murder suspect, gay bomb tech's DADT plea, suicidal cemetary deer and other headlines


Pfc. David Lawrence, 20, faces a military hearing in Ft. Carson, Colo., in the shooting death of a senior Taliban commander being held prisoner in Afghanistan. Lawrence’s alleged shooting of Mullah Mohebullah in the head Oct. 17 while on guard duty at an Arghandab detention center has added fuel to diplomatic tensions between the U.S. and Afghanistan. Lawrence’s parents say their son is delusional. His civilian lawyer said the Army may be rushing the case to appease Hamid Karzai: “We are going to an Article 32 for a kid who is hearing voices,” he said. [via Los Angeles Times]

  • A gay former bomb tech with the 82nd Airborne said his sexuality was never an problem when he was defusing booby traps and weapons caches in Afghanistan. Brian Muller tells the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that he wants DADT repealed to clear the way for others to serve. [via Arkansas Online]
  • For the second time in 18 months, staff at an Illinois forest preserve have found a dead deer that impaled itself on a 7-foot wrought-iron fence at historic Fort Sheridan Cemetery, where more than 2,000 soldiers are buried. Authorities are enlisting animal behaviorists to figure out why. “It’s mating season right now, and that’s when deer go crazy,” an official said. “Or maybe it got spooked by a coyote that was stalking it.” [via Chicago Tribune]

  • The case of 1st Lt. Michael Behenna, accused in the death of an Iraqi detainee, will be considered in early December by two separate U.S. Army panels, one that could order a new trial and another that could reduce his 15-year sentence for unpremeditated murder. [via The Oklahoman]
  • Authorities have arrested two men after Army officials and Honolulu police say the men tried to enter at least three Oahu military bases over Thanksgiving weekend. [via the Star-Advertiser]
  • The state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs agreed to pay $250,000 to settle the negligence and wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of a retired Philadelphia police officer who froze to death after wandering from a state veterans home. The  75-year-old Alzheimer’s-stricken Korean War vet, Harold C. Chapman Jr., wandered out and was not noticed missing for two hours. The settlement agreement grants Chapman’s two daughters $30K each; $90K goes to the estate, and $90K goes to attorneys and expenses. [via Pittsburgh Tribune-Review]
  • A Connecticut, woman has pleaded guilty to striking and killing an 88-year-old World War II vet with her SUV, but under terms of her plea, will not serve any jail time. Relatives of vet and elementary school tutor, Alma “Nicky” Trench, who were in court did not oppose the suspended sentence but urged driver Jennifer Mahr-Aitken’s license be suspended. “If she was sitting in jail for the next year, it would not make us feel any better,” said Trench’s grandnephew. Mahr-Aitken told Trench’s relatives life is a beautiful thing. “I never wanted this to happen. I’m really sorry,” she said. [via the New London Day]
  • A 23-year veteran UK Army quartermaster who sold military-issue boots, rucksacks and rations on eBay was fined £6,628 and handed a 10 month suspended sentence. [via the Telegraph]

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