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Fragging Defendant Acquitted

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  • Fragging Defendant Acquitted

    December 05, 2008
    Associated Press

    FORT BRAGG, N.C. - A Soldier was acquitted of murder Thursday in the 2005 bombing deaths of two superiors in Iraq, triggering loud outbursts and gasps from the slain officers' families.

    A military jury found Staff Sgt. Alberto Martinez not guilty on two counts of premedidated murder in the deaths of Capt. Phillip Esposito of Suffern, N.Y., and 1st Lt. Louis Allen, of Milford, Pa. Both officers were killed when an anti-personnel mine detonated in a window of their room at a U.S. military base in Iraq in June 2005.

    "He slaughtered our husbands and that's it?" yelled Allen's widow, Barbara Allen, moments after the verdict was read. Someone else shouted out that Martinez was a "murdering son of a *****" before the judge quickly ordered the courtroom to be cleared.

    The 14-member jury spent two days deliberating following a six-week trial at Fort Bragg, during which Martinez chose not to testify. The New York Army National Guard Soldier could have faced the death penalty if he had been convicted.

    Martinez, 41, of Troy, N.Y., was the first Soldier from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to have been accused of killing a direct superior, a crime known as "fragging" during the Vietnam war. All three were members of the 42nd Infantry Division.

    Witnesses had testified that Esposito and Martinez were at odds because the officer thought Martinez was lax in his operation of the unit's supply room.

    Before reaching a verdict, military jurors spent several hours Thursday reviewing the recorded testimony of trial witnesses, including a sergeant who said she had delivered explosives to the supply room Martinez oversaw shortly before the bombing.

    Prosecution witness Staff Sgt. Amy Harlan said she delivered ammunition and Claymore mines to Martinez's supply room about a month before the fatal bombing. Harlan said she neither received nor requested a receipt documenting who took the equipment, a usual military practice.

    Sgt. 1st Class Ashvin Thimmaiah's testimony also was reviewed. He said Esposito asked him for a list of "potential candidates to take over the supply room" the day before he was killed.

    Staff Sgt. David Wentzel, in testimony recorded in October, said Martinez "seemed unconcerned" moments after the fatal blast.

    Wentzel said he assumed Martinez was shell-shocked because he didn't respond when he yelled for Martinez to take cover. Wentzel said he jumped up and pulled Martinez to the shelter of a building.

    "I was expecting there was more to come," Wentzel testified. "He was standing in the middle of the road not trying to seek cover or anything. It was almost like he knew it was over."

    © Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
    ᎠᏂᎩᏚᏩᎩ - Anigiduwagi
    Till I Die!

  • #2
    Can you believe that?!?!?!!?!?.......he should have fried.....that is amazing about the judicial system of the can get NJP'd for jumping off a balcony while you have BAC of .265, but you get a slap on the wirst for killing your superiors.....

    ...And shephards we shall be. For thee my lord, for thee. Power hath descended forth from thy hand. That our feet may swiftly carry out thy command. So we shall flow a river forth to thee. And teeming with souls shall it ever be. E Nomini Patri, E Fili, E Spiritu Sancti.


    • #3
      He actually got nothing..not even a slap on the wrist. He only got booted out of the Supply room.

      He must have been one crappy supply clerk though...
      R.I.P. my Bros from the 1st MAR DIV, 3rd MAR DIV, 25th I.D., 10th MTN DIV, V Corps, 170th IBCT who gave their lives in the Cold War, Marines we lost in Korea during Team Spirit '89 & Okinawa '89- bodies never recovered, Panama, 1st Gulf War, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq...


      • #4
        Man I thought the dude was going to fry! There has to be something more to the story
        Officers dont let enlisted guys get away with Fraggin a fellow Officer!!!!
        No way NO how!
        ᎠᏂᎩᏚᏩᎩ - Anigiduwagi
        Till I Die!


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