September: U.S. Department of Defense Casualties Report (2014)

xl_deptofdefenselogo

09/17/2014:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Michael Donahue, 41, Afghanistan, Fort Bragg, North Carolina

09/17/2014:  DoD Identifies DoD Civilian Casualty: Stephen Byus, 39, Afghanistan, Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime, Ohio

09/17/2014:  DoD Identifies Marine Casualty: Charles Strong, 28, Afghanistan, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina

09/05/2014:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Brian Arsenault, 28, Afghanistan, Fort Bragg, North Carolina

Deadly Women Premiered ‘For the Money Honey’ on ID: Kelly Gissendaner & Lover Murdered Army Veteran Doug Gissendaner (September 26, 2014)

ID Go: For these women, one good man wasn’t enough. A middle-aged woman used looks to prey on elderly gentleman; an army wife didn’t want a soldier but a squad; and a serial wife cooks up meals to die for. These Deadly Women married for the money, honey. -Deadly Women (S8, E11)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Related Links:
First We’ll Kill My Husband by Lyn Riddle (Amazon)
For the Money Honey | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (S8, E11)
For the Money Honey | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (website)
For the Money Honey | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
For the Money Honey | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Hulu)
Army Veteran Doug Gissendaner Murdered for Marital Home & Life Insurance; Wife Kelly Sentenced to Death, Executed in Georgia (February 7, 1997)
Deadly Women: 30 Military and Veteran Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

Homicide Hunter Premiered ‘Blood Innocence’ on ID: Korean War Hero Carl Taylor Murdered During Robbery in Colorado (September 23, 2014)

A war hero is beaten to death for no apparent reason. The crime scene offers few clues, but Lt Joe Kenda notices an unusual pattern in the victim’s head wounds and enlists a team of engineers to help him identify the murder weapon and crack the case. -Blood Innocence, Homicide Hunter (S4,E6)

,Korean War hero and Air Force veteran Carl Vincent Taylor, 47, of Oklahoma, died of blunt force trauma injuries in Colorado Springs, Colorado on August 14, 1977. In the course of an investigation, Lt. Joe Kenda learned an individual named Eric Kendall was involved in the crime. But after the crime Kendall fled to Pennsylvania where police found him and had him extradited back to Colorado. Eric confessed to the crime and implicated three other individuals. Eric said he and Phil Brown met up with Sonny Evans and Ricky Dillon to plot the robbery. Eric Kendall, Phil Brown and Sonny Evans pleaded guilty to first degree burglary in exchange for their testimony in Ricky Dillon’s trial. The three individuals testified Ricky was the one who attacked and killed Carl Taylor. Kendall, Brown, and Evans were sentenced to 5-7 years in prison. Ricky Dillon was found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

“The jury found defendant Ricky Dillon guilty of first degree murder and the trial court sentenced him to death…The death sentence was subsequently reduced to life imprisonment when the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty statute was unconstitutional.” -People v. Dillon (July 13, 1987)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Related Links:
State of Colorado v. Ricky Dillon (1987)
Blood Innocence | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (S4,E6)
Blood Innocence | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (website)
Blood Innocence | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Blood Innocence | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (Hulu)
Homicide Hunter: 10 Active Duty Military and Veteran Murder Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

Deadly Women Premiered ‘Second Best’ on ID: Dennis Dawley Elicits Help of Mistress Brandita Taliano to Murder Wife (September 19, 2014)

Preview: Seeking freedom from his controlling wife, Dennis Hawley begins seeing drug-addicted prostitute Brandita Taliano and supporting her financially. In 1993, when Joan receives an inheritance and makes plans to divorce, Dennis, fearing financial ruin, enlists his lover to help murder his wife. -Second Best, Deadly Women (S8, E10)

Being the ‘other woman’ is a lonely life. Some turn rejection into rage. A call girl craved the high life, a teen mom eradicated her rival, and a lesbian love affair ripped a family apart. These Deadly Women refused to play ‘Second Best’. -Deadly Women (S8, E10)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Related Links:
Partners in Crime | The New Detectives (S5,E2)
Mistress Kills Her Lover’s Wife to Escape (Preview)
They Killed His Wife Then Decided To Go On A Las Vegas Holiday (Preview)
Second Best | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (S8, E10)
Second Best | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (website)
Second Best | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Second Best | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Hulu)
Stages of Grief | American Monster | Investigation Discovery (S3, E1)
Stages of Grief | American Monster | Investigation Discovery (website)
Stages of Grief | American Monster | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Monstresses: Katie Belflower & Brandita Taliano | Amazon (S1,E2)
Killer Call Girl: The True Story of Brandita Taliano by Greta Harris (book)
Air Force Retiree Dennis Dawley & Mistress Brandita Taliano Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole for the 1991 Murder of Joan Dawley (April 15, 1997)
American Monster Premiered ‘Stages of Grief’ on Investigation Discovery: Dennis Dawley & Brandita Taliano Murdered Joan Dawley for Cash (July 8, 2018)
Deadly Women: 30 Military and Veteran Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

Homicide Hunter Premiered ‘Poker Face’ on ID: Military Retiree Jamie Foster Shot Dead in Colorado Springs Home (September 16, 2014)

The corpse of Jamie Foster is found hidden under a blanket. But when Lt. Joe Kenda digs deeper, he discovers that Foster’s business put him in close quarters with a host of unsavory characters. -Poker Face, Homicide Hunter (S4,E5)

Military retiree Jamie Foster, 68, was found fatally shot in his Colorado Springs home in 1988. He was shot twice, once in the head, and investigators discovered his safe was missing from the home. Friends shared Jamie was dating a young woman named Leone “Oni” Jones who also happened to be addicted to drugs, crack specifically. Kenda couldn’t find Oni but he started canvassing pawn shops and learned Michael Parsons suddenly had cash he usually didn’t have. When Kenda interviewed Parsons, he learned Parsons helped Leone remove a safe from Jamie’s house. They opened the safe and found $900; Leone gave Parson’s $300. The safe was still at Parson’s home.

Parson’s was arrested and charged with accessory to first degree murder and third degree burglary. They put out a warrant for Leone Jones. A couple days later, she called the police department and surrendered. After the murder, she fled to Kansas, claiming she was fearful the men who killed Jamie would kill her too. Kenda didn’t believe her. He suspected she wanted money for drugs, went to Jamie’s home for cash, killed Jamie and took his safe. Although Leone refused to confess to the crime during the interrogations, she finally offered up the confession Kenda wanted during her trial. She pleaded guilty to second degree murder and was sentenced to 24 years in prison.

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Related Links:
From The Archive: Foster Case | Investigation Discovery (Facebook)
Poker Face | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (S4,E5)
Poker Face | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (website)
Poker Face | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Poker Face | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (Hulu)
Murder Case Dismissed After Witness Says She Erred in Identifying Suspect
Homicide Hunter: 10 Active Duty Military and Veteran Murder Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

United States Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals Overturns the Sentence of Lackland Basic Military Training Instructor SSgt Eddy Soto (2014)

Screen Shot 2016-07-30 at 10.19.43 AM

SSgt Eddy Soto, US Air Force

“Soto faced as much as life without parole for the rape, one of six charges and eight specifications of misconduct.” -My SA

SSgt Eddy Soto was a basic military training instructor at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. Soto was one of the 35 instructors courts martialed in what is referred to as the Lackland Sex Scandal. SSgt Soto was accused of unprofessional relationships, adultery, and the rape of one airman whom it appeared he had a relationship with. Investigators learned of the relationship Soto had with the airman who accused him of rape as part of a widespread probe into MTI misconduct. Soto faced life without parole but prosecutors asked for 12-15 years. Soto pleaded guilty to five charges and admitted that he had unprofessional relationships with a trainee and a civilian who had come to the base to see her husband graduate from basic training. He also admitted to adultery charges but he denied the rape accusation. He was convicted and sentenced to four years in prison in March 2013. After his confinement ended, he would be dishonorably discharged from the Air Force. Soto was the second instructor convicted of rape in the scandal. SSgt Luis Walker was the first conviction and he received 20 years for the rape of one airman and sexual assault of several others.

In an exceptional ruling by the Air Force Criminal Court of Appeals, Soto’s conviction for rape was overturned in Sept 2014. The military appeals court ruled the evidence was “factually insufficient” to support the conviction. In other words, there wasn’t enough evidence to find him guilty in the first place. The appeals court upheld the lesser charges of unprofessional relationships, adultery, and false official statement. The judge ruled the four year sentence and dishonorable discharge should be set aside and the case was referred back to the convening authority who had the authority to hold a new sentencing hearing. Soto remained jailed at the Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar in California while the government decided whether to ask the appeals court to reconsider their ruling. SSgt Eddy Soto served over a year and a half for a rape conviction that lacked evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. Media reports stated Soto would be re-sentenced by a lower court for unprofessional relationships, adultery, and false official statement. Further on-line research did not find evidence of the final disposition of SSgt Soto’s case. We do not know if he was re-sentenced, released from prison and when, or if he was discharged from the military.

The findings of guilty for Charge III, Specification 1 are set aside and dismissed. The remaining findings of guilty are affirmed. The sentence is set aside. The record of trial is returned to The Judge Advocate General for remand to an appropriate convening authority who may order a rehearing to determine an appropriate sentence for the affirmed findings of guilty. If the convening authority determines that a rehearing on the sentence is impracticable, the convening authority may approve a sentence of “no punishment” or dismiss the remaining charges and specifications. –USAF Court of Criminal Appeals

Related Links:
General admits failure in Lackland sex scandal; 32 alleged culprits
Cross-Cultural Expert Brought In For Lackland Court-Martial
Lackland trainer handed 4 years in rape
Lackland sergeant found guilty in rape case
Air Force instructor gets 4 years for raping trainee
Air Force trainer convicted of raping ex-trainee
Air Force trainer found guilty of raping cadet in Lackland base abuse scandal
US v. SSgt EDDY C. SOTO, US Air Force, ACM 38422, 16 September 2014
Court throws out Lackland trainer’s rape conviction (San Antonio Express)
Court throws out Lackland trainer’s rape conviction (Stars & Stripes)
Air Force appeals court tosses MTI rape conviction
Military overturns Lackland Air Force Base rape conviction
SSgt Eddy Soto Court-Martial Conviction for Rape Set Aside by Air Force Appellate Court
The Lackland Air Force Base Sex Scandal, Texas (2011)
A Complete List of the 35 Basic Military Training Instructors Court Martialed in the Lackland Air Force Base Sex Scandal

Army Reservist SSG Virginia Caballero Died on Plane Enroute in US After Deployment in Kuwait, Family Received Conflicting Accounts of Cause of Death (September 13, 2014)

If you have any information that could help this family find answers, please contact us at militaryjusticeforall@gmail.com. Thank you.

FullSizeRender-2 copy

SSG Virginia Caballero, US Army Reserves (2014)

Honoring SSG Virginia Caballero, US Army Reserves, who became ill while en-route from Kuwait and then died unexpectedly shortly thereafter at a hospital in Rockford, Illinois on September 13, 2014. Apparently the commercial plane needed fuel and/or had to do an emergency landing for Virginia in Rockford, Illinois. It appears that they were on their way to Fort McCoy in Wisconsin. According to reports, Caballero was a Reservist stationed with the 452nd Combat Support Hospital, 330th Medical Brigade out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin but trained at Fort McCoy prior to her deployment to Kuwait.  She served in Kuwait for roughly eight months and for some reason was coming home a month early with a high ranking travel companion. Media reports claim she wanted to surprise her family in Texas. It is believed Caballero suffered from a blood clot which was exacerbated with the altitude on the flight. She was not listed as a non-combat death by the Department of Defense but this would in fact be considered a non-combat death due to medical. The family admits in newspaper articles that a lot of the details are sketchy.

Here are the questions we have after combing through the below articles. Why was she coming home a month early accompanied by a high ranking travel companion if she was going to surprise her family? Did something happen in country prior to her boarding that plane? Was this an early surprise for family in Texas or an expedited transfer from Kuwait back to the states? The military isn’t in the business of assigning high ranking travel companions unless there is an issue. Were there any concerns about medical health prior to boarding the plane? Where were they flying to? Rockford, Illinois is only a couple hour drive from Fort McCoy. Why did they not land the plane sooner at a larger airport like Chicago when the medical issues began to develop or the fuel began to get low? Why did the DoD not send out an official notification of non-combat death considering she was on active duty orders in support of war efforts in Kuwait? Criminal Investigation Division (CID) was assigned to investigate the cause of death of Virginia. The family was asked to submit a FOIA request for the results of the investigation.

Related Links:
Army Soldier Reflects on Life Overseas and Time Back Home
Lubbock movers reach out to help purple heart recipient
Soldier flying home to surprise family in Texas dies en route
Decorated soldier flying home to surprise family in Abernathy dies en route
Local Purple Heart Recipient Died While On Active Duty
Purple heart recipient’s body to arrive in Lubbock on Saturday
Family, friends remember Virginia Caballero as Veterans Day approaches
The Heart of a Soldier: Sergeant earns hero’s salute from hometown
USAR SSG Virginia Caballero, 41 (Noonie Fortin)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Other Areas)
Tribute to SSG Virginia Caballero from her Family
Abell Funeral Home Tribute to Virginia Caballero