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Court Cases

    An oft-uttered phrase to us over the years was that Lou and Phils murders were, an isolated case of an American soldier murdering fellow soldiers. The expression was used in times of chaos in the case, and was heard more and more over the years. Used primarily as an excuse for mistakes made in the handling of the case and the rationale for dismissing the victims families, the phrase became more insulting each time I heard it. I was driven to explore the validity of the comment, and found it to be far from true.

In March 2003, Lou and I followed the news of Sgt Hasan Akbar murdering two fellow soldiers and wounding fourteen others on the night before they rolled into Iraq. For over two years we read every article on the case, as Lou in particular believed a soldier who kills fellow soldiers is a traitor to our country. He and I were both relieved when Akbar was convicted and sentenced to death in April 2005, less than two months before Lou would become a victim of a similar traitor.

The Akbar case required little research from me as I already knew of it, but other cases appeared in my search. Cases of soldiers killing other soldiers as well as soldiers killing civilians. This page will focus on the cases of soldiers killing other soldiers. Primarily, cases that occurred after Lou and Phil were killed, and are currently navigating the military judicial system.

OTHER Cases to follow ->
United States v. Staff Sergeant Alberto B. Martinez
Some Concluded Cases

Spc. Ivette Davila, on August 23, 2010, plead guilty to murder and kidnapping in the killings of two fellow soldiers and abduction of their young daughter, officials said. Staff Sgt. Timothy Miller and his wife, Sgt Randi J. Miller, were killed in their Parkland, Washington home. Their 7 month old daughter was taken and later found in Davilas barracks.
Cpl Timothy Ayers, accidentally shot his platoon sergeant, Sergeant First Class David Cooper Jr. while in Iraq on September 5, 2007. Cooper plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 28 months confinement.
Army Spc Chris Rolan killed Pvt Dylan Paytas on November 16, 2005. Rolan plead guilty to unpremeditated murder, reckless endangerment, willfully communicating a threat and violation of a general order. He was sentenced to 20 years.
Sgt. William Kreutzer, Jr.was given the death penalty for his actions on October 27, 1995 at Fort Bragg NC. Kreutzer shot and killed one officer and wounded 18 others as the soldiers were in formation at Towle Stadium. He was granted a retrial in 2009 and convicted again, yet the death penalty was replaced with life in prison.
Who Killed Pat Tillman? The NFL player who walked away from a lucrative career to enlist in the military was serving in a unit with his brother when he was killed in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004. The Tillman family and the entire nation were told that Pat Tillman was killed a hero, in combat. In reality, while the hero status is not disputed, the circumstances of his death are. It was later revealed the military mislead the nation and the family, and Tillman was in fact killed by his own comrades. Friendly fire, or accidental death, replaced the initial report. Yet the Tillman family continues to seek full disclosure of the facts and accountability for Pats death.

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FRAGGING - In the U.S. military, fragging refers to the act of attacking a superior officer in one's chain of command with the intent to kill that officer. The term originated during the Vietnam War and was most commonly used to mean the assassination of an unpopular officer of one's own fighting unit. Killing was effected by means of a fragmentation grenade, hence the term.
Lt. Lou Allen's Case TIMELINE
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Lt. Lou Allen - What went WRONG???
  • Explosions first labeled mortar attack. Crime scene damaged by cleanup efforts.
  • Initial arrest of Martinez, later determined to be unlawful.
  • High turnover rate on prosecution team, Disconnect on prosecution as opposed to defense team, two attorneys remained constant from 2005 through acquittal.
  • Additional charges pointing to Martinezs misconduct severed from capital case.
  • April 2006 Martinez signs offer to plead guilty. Defense presents offer to government. Government denies offer, suppresses plea. Does not inform families.
  • Colonel Stephen Henley replaces Colonel Parrish as trial judge. Henley is the US Armys Chief Trial Judge. The following actions of his disallowed the possibility of a fair trial
  • Allowed a husband and wife team to serve as jury members. Members are forbidden to discuss the case outside of the deliberation period. Each of these two members altered their answers during selection to match the others. Each member stated strong opposition to the death penalty and stated they would not be able to participate in any vote leading to a death penalty. Members were seated over govt objection and attempt to strike for cause.
  • Allowed inclusion of another member on the jury who expressed same opposition to death penalty as the former two members. This member also openly stated his distrust for CID, the Criminal Investigative Agency on which the meat of this case rested. Govt. exercised peremptory strike on this member and was overruled on baseless accusations of prejudice against an African American juror. An important fact to note here is this was the final juror needed to proceed to trial. No further members were available without causing a delay to trial. Colonel Henley was scheduled to hear cases at Guantanamo Bay and needed to get this trial cleared first.
  • Midway through trial, Colonel Henley admitted a diagram drawn by Martinez as part of his statement. CID agents had already testified, and defense had relied partially on confusion over the statement to discredit the agents. Defense now used the diagram as another sword, adding further confusion in the jury box as to why it was not mentioned earlier.
  • Defense counsel accused a key govt witness of lying to the police. This accusation was made in the presence of the jury. The jury was excused and the accusation was proved unfounded outside of jury presence. However, upon return of the jury, Colonel Henley refused to allow the government to have the witness explain the misleading accusation, and her credibility was destroyed.
  • Upon giving instructions to the jury, Colonel Henley failed to include the explanation that a vote to convict does not equal a vote to sentence to death. Colonel Henley included these instructions when he presided over another capital case, U.S. v Akbar. These instructions are included in a benchbook for military judges. Colonel Henley contributed to the creation of that benchbook. The governments prosecution team argued to include these instructions in this case. Colonel Henley refused. Subsequently, the three members who adamantly opposed capital punishment and stated they would be unable to sentence anyone to death, were under the impression a vote to convict equaled a death sentence.

  • Lt. Lou Allen's Court Documents
    Below are links to a copy of the plea offer and an example of the documents used by the government to support its case.

    Sworn Statement complaint from Phil about Martinez
    Martinez Guilty Plea that he signed and was later rejected by Lt. General John R. Vines. Read More >>>
    Lt. Lou Allen - After the TRIAL of Martinez
  • Government denied any offer to plead guilty had occurred, until a copy of the plea was included in a front page NY Times story.
  • Government refused to proceed with second trial of severed charges.
  • Government refuses to award Purple Hearts to either murdered soldier.
  • Zero accountability for the murders, or the botched trial.
  • Alberto Martinez discharged from army, now a free man.
  • Government has not yet complied with numerous Freedom of Information Acts for audio recordings of the court martial. No hard copy transcript was created. FOIA requests were submitted through an attorney at the request of Siobhan Esposito, widow of Captain Phillip Esposito.
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