Army veteran and former Ranger Fernando Duarte was shot and killed in a casino parking lot in Miami, Florida on Christmas day, December 25, 2016, after winning a prize. According to police, there was an argument ensued and escalated in the parking lot before Duarte was murdered by two suspects who were later identified and arrested. Kenin Bailey and Mikey Lenard were both charged with first degree murder. But the prosecutors dropped the charges against them because the evidenced revealed that Fernando was the aggressor and the two killed him in self-defense.
Former Army Ranger Killed Outside Casino On Christmas
Former Army Ranger Shot Outside Casino After Winning Prize: Family
Former Army ranger shot to death outside casino after winning prize, family says
Former Army Ranger Killed In Parking Lot After Winning At Casino
Suspects arrested in fatal shooting of US Army Ranger at Miccosukee casino
Army Vet Killed Over ‘Poker Room Table Talk,’ 2 Arrested
Army Ranger murdered in front of a casino on Christmas, two arrested
Two Arrested in Shooting Death of Former Army Ranger Outside Miami Casino
Police: 2 charged after Army vet killed over “poker room table talk”
Former Army Ranger killed outside Miami casino; 2 charged with murder
Prosecutors Drop Charges in Shooting Case of Former Army Ranger Killed at Miccosukee Casino
Prosecutors Drop Charges in Shooting of Former Army Ranger at Miccosukee Casino
In self-defense case at Miccosukee casino, slain ex-Army Ranger was the aggressor, evidence shows
Army Private Paige Fontenot Briles, 21, was found unresponsive in her vehicle at Fort Hood housing in Texas on Christmas eve, December 24, 2016. Private Fontenot Briles is from Kaplin, Louisiana and joined the Army in February 2015. Pvt. Fontenot Briles was assigned to Fort Hood as a wheeled vehicle mechanic. She deployed to Kuwait shortly after completing Advanced Individual Training (AIT). She returned stateside early in December 2015 after she was injured in the line of duty. In November 2016, she was assigned to the Warrior Transition Unit at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center. Pvt. Fontenot Briles was going to be discharged from the Army in February 2017 and had plans to attend dental hygienist school. Family report that Pvt. Fontenot Briles cause of death was determined a homicide by the Army but the Bell County coroner’s office made a suicide determination. The Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) ruled the cause of death as suicide.
Paige joined the U.S. Army in February 2015 & was permanently assigned to Fort Hood as a wheeled vehicle mechanic after Advanced Individual Training (AIT). Paige shared with her family that she was raped by her recruiter before she went to Fort Jackson for basic training but she did not report the incident. Shortly after arriving to Fort Hood, Paige was deployed to Kuwait in October 2015. Although she returned home early in December 2015 after being found unresponsive under a vehicle. She was injured in the line of duty and the only thing she shared with her family was that she “saw things no one should ever have to see.”
Paige met and married another soldier she hadn’t known that long in January 2016 upon her return home from Kuwait. According to Army CID, they learned that the marriage was contractual and the two did in fact share a home up until recently. When Paige met her husband, she had already experienced multiple traumas from the rape and her experience in Kuwait; she was vulnerable. After a few months of marriage, Paige got pregnant but her “husband” did not want a child and convinced her to get an abortion in August 2016. It was at this point, Paige had a mental health breakdown and was hospitalized for 28 days. She was eventually transferred to the Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) in November 2016.
The WTU allowed Paige to escape the unhealthy arrangement she was trapped in with her contractual husband and she was starting to feel better after being free of him for a couple months. Family reports that Paige decided to get out of the military, move back in with her sister and parents, and pursue an education as a dental hygienist. Paige was expected to discharge in February 2017. Paige put in leave to go home for Christmas in December 2016 but it was denied. Paige took a picture of herself on SnapChat and sent it to her contacts on Christmas Eve. She wrote “here’s to another Christmas alone.” And the Army wants us to believe that 30 minutes later, Paige would be dead by her own hand.
On the night in question, Paige drove to a friend’s house on post. She was house sitting for them while they were out of town. About an hour later, Paige was found unresponsive in the driver’s seat in her vehicle in the parking lot outside her friend’s home. She had been stabbed. Initially the Army investigated the death as a homicide but in December 2017, the family was informed that the cause of death was ruled a suicide. Less than two years in the Army and Paige was gone. She told her parents she was raped, she saw things in Kuwait no one should ever see, and that she was in an unhealthy relationship with a man she was trying to escape. Paige had been through hell in her short time in the Army but she had hope. She knew she was returning to Louisiana to a loving family and a sister who was her best friend. She didn’t feel so trapped that suicide was the only way out.
Paige had a second chance at life in just a couple months when she was going to be discharged. Paige’s parents want their daughter’s case investigated as a homicide. They provided the Army CID with a person of interest. They had interaction and negative experiences with the person of interest. They shared their first hand interactions (witness testimony) and their concerns with CID but felt their experiences and observations were dismissed. They know their daughter was not suicidal because she was due to get out of the Army in February 2017 and she had plans. When questioned if the Army CID ever investigated the person of interest, Paige’s family responded with “the Army CID never investigated any persons of interest.” As a matter of fact, the Army discharged the soldier these parents suspected was the person of interest.
What happens when the Army discharges a soldier who may be a person of interest? They in effect give up jurisdiction of the soldier once they become a civilian unless they are retired. The soldier who was considered a ‘person of interest’ by the family was discharged for disciplinary reasons. Enter across state line jurisdictional issues and the Federal Bureau of Investigation who appears to want to steer clear of cases on military bases. The parents report that initially Paige’s stabbing death was investigated as a homicide yet in the end, despite the autopsy, forensics, suspicious circumstances in her life, and the parents testimony, Paige’s death was ruled a suicide by the Army CID. Once a death is ruled a suicide, the investigation is over and the US Army never has to investigate again.
How does the family get justice for Paige?
Source: Teri Fontenot (Paige Briles’ mom)
Fort Hood soldier found dead on post on Christmas Eve
Fort Hood soldier found dead identified as Kaplan woman
Fort Hood officials announce death of a soldier
Death of 21-year-old Fort Hood soldier under investigation
Fort Hood: Death of soldier on Christmas Eve under investigation
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas (US Army)
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
Washington DC Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (2017)
Guest post submitted by:
O’Connell & Associates, PLLC Doug@DougOConnell.com
Attorney Doug O’Connell has represented former Recruiting Assistants for the past two years in both criminal and civil matters. A former state and federal prosecutor, Doug is also a Special Forces Colonel in the Texas Army National Guard. In addition to his own practice, Doug is Of Counsel to Fluet, Huber + Hoang law firm.
The G-RAP accusations and investigations have now lingered for over five years. At least 90,430 (1) National Guard Soldiers (88% of all G-RAP participants) have been subjected to investigations as part of a massive dragnet to recover bonuses (2). 125 Soldiers have been prosecuted in Federal or State Courts; at least 2633 Soldiers remain under investigation (3). While a handful of unscrupulous participants took advantage of the ever-changing rules of this contractor-run program, those cases were adjudicated years ago. What the Army CID is now doing is nothing more than pursuing anyone whose G-RAP tenure spanned the years with the most rules’ changes in an effort to prove up the Army’s exaggerated fraud estimate.
It’s hard to pick the Top 10 issues with G-RAP. The items below represent issues apparent in almost every case. This list omits, but hardly overlooks, such things as inappropriate command pressure to participate in G-RAP, forcing accused Soldiers to undergo DNA collection (4), active surveillance of National Guard Soldiers by Army CID (5), coercion to make reimbursements to the Army (6) in lieu of punishment and other notable violations of Soldier’s rights.
1 Letter to Representative Mike Coffman from Daniel M. Quinn, Chief of Staff, USACIC.
2 The U.S. Army and U.S. Department of Justice consistently refers to G-RAP payments as bonuses in sworn testimony, official documents and court filings. The payments were paid by a contractor directly to the Soldier and IRS form 1099 was issued to every participant. Payments were not processed by DFAS and did not appear on a LES. Finally, Congress did not authorize a bonus related to this program. Nevertheless, Government officials consistently refer to G-RAP payments as bonuses, perhaps wishing it were true so that legal recoupment would be possible.
3 Per letter to Rep Coffman.
4 Collected by a cheek swab without a warrant in violation of the 4th Amendment.
5 Related to an allegation of fraud which if true occurred years prior.
6 Possibly an illegal augmentation of appropriations in violation of the Miscellaneous Receipts statute, 31 USC §3302.
1. GUILT BY ALGORITHM.
Auditors, instead of seasoned law enforcement professionals, launched the G-RAP investigations. Rather than using any type of proper legal standard like probable cause, the Army Audit Agency assembled lists of Soldiers branded “high risk” by the auditors. The definition for “High Risk” was listed as “an inability to follow the rules.” Because the rules changed 60 times in seven years, almost everyone who successfully participated in G-RAP became a target. Soldiers connected to the “high risk” Soldiers were in turn investigated. This self-perpetuating, system of guilt by association crushes any notion of justice and the rule of law. Years later, many of these Soldiers still are under the cloud of a CID investigation and are being forced to defend (at great financial and emotional cost) their names and careers.
2. COMPULSORY INTERROGATIONS.
Federal CID agents lack any authority to compel National Guard Soldiers (or veterans) to submit to interrogations. Unfortunately, neither CID nor most Guard Soldiers and veterans understand that they cannot be forced to appear or answer questions from Army-dispatched agents. CID agents repeatedly violate this bright line legal standard. Worse yet, some Guard Commanders aren’t sufficiently knowledgeable about the law to protect their Soldiers. Once confronted with apparent military authority, many individuals, honestly believing they did nothing wrong, provide answers, later cherry picked and twisted to supposedly show guilt. The unfortunate individual is left having to prove he or she didn’t say something or that the statement was taken out of context.
3. INVESTIGATORS WITH A PERSONAL FINANCIAL INCENTIVE.
The CID Investigators pursuing G-RAP allegations include Army Reserve CID Agents voluntarily on active duty orders. At a minimum, the perception exists that the Reserve Agents have a financial incentive to perpetuate the investigations. The longer the investigations continue, the longer these agents remain employed. Further compounding this problem is the very logical assumption that few agents would volunteer for active duty if it meant a pay cut from their civilian employment.
4. VIOLATIONS OF THE POSSE COMITATUS ACT.
National Guard Soldiers not mobilized into federal service, are like any other civilian citizen under the law. The Posse Comitatus Act prohibits federal military personnel from investigating and enforcing the law. Yet, that is exactly what is happening. The PCA is a federal criminal offense punishable by a term in prison. In the G-RAP investigations, federal military agents are investigating allegations of criminal violations by Guard Soldiers, who are the same as civilians under the law (7). This is a clear violation of the PCA. Unfortunately, this flawed law requires the same prosecutors who are prosecuting Soldiers to levy charges against the same agents investigating the cases they prosecute.
7 See Perprich vs. Department of Defense, 496 U.S. 334 (1990).
5. TRAMPLING THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS.
In our system of justice, a statue of limitations exists to limit the Government’s ability to bring charges so remote that the defendant can’t reasonably mount an effective defense. In G-RAP cases, the Government is circumventing the statue of limitations with a World War II era tolling statute. Most applicable criminal offenses have a 5 year statute of limitations. Since G-RAP ended in 2012 the statute of limitations has long expired in most cases. However, in G-RAP investigations and prosecutions the Government is relying on the Wartime Suspension of Limitations Act (8) to continue to bring criminal cases. First enacted in 1948, the WSLA is designed to protect the Country from fraud during times of war. This law likely made sense during World War II, the Korea and Vietnam conflicts. However, the nature of warfare has changed. The current war against terrorism and global extremist groups will continue indefinitely. Relying on the outdated WSLA during today’s conflicts effectively terminates the deeply rooted equitable concept of a statue of limitations.
8 18 USC §3287
6. SPENDING $40 MILLION -TO COLLECT $3 MILLION.
Our Government has spent at least an estimated $40 million dollars (9) to investigate Soldiers. The ensuing recoupment actions and prosecutions have recovered, at most $3 million dollars (10). Army CID agents have repeatedly conducted full field investigations to determine if a Soldier’s single $2,000.00 bonus was righteous (11). In an era of constrained defense spending with persistent and emerging global terrorist threats, this massive boondoggle sets a new record for fraud, waste and abuse. The CID agents’ limited time and resources would be much better spent working to prevent the next Fort Hood terrorist attack.
9 This is a conservative estimate which includes the personnel cost associated with bringing the USAR agents onto duty status.
10 This figure is also an estimate based on all federal cases reported in the Pacer.gov system and media reports from around the country.
11 At least one National Guard officer is currently under indictment for a single G-RAP recruitment.
7. INACCURATE TESTIMONY TO CONGRESS & POLITICAL PRESSURE
The entire G-RAP controversy is based on inaccurate and irresponsible testimony to Congress. During Senate hearings chaired by Senator Claire McCaskill (12), Army General Officers testified that the total G-RAP fraud could be as high as $99 million (13). This estimate was wildly inaccurate (14). To date, the Government has only collected $3 million in fraudulent payments. Senator McCaskill immediately branded these Soldiers as criminals despite their Constitutional right to be presumed innocent (15). Many have speculated that the hearings and estimates of widespread fraud were designed to embarrass the National Guard during budget battles. Others suggest that it was an attempt to appease this powerful member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and self styled “accountability advocate.” Still others contend that the hearings were an attempt to shift focus from sexual assaults in the military. Whatever the reason, the McCaskill hearing set off a chain of events abrogating the presumption of innocence justice toward service members and veterans.
12 United States Senate Hearing: Fraud and Abuse in Army Recruiting Contracts, February 4, 2014.
14 It appears that this testimony has never been revised, amended or updated to correct the record.
8. AT LEAST 60 CHANGES TO THE “RULES.”
In the eyes of CID, violations of the program “rules,” indicates intentional fraud worthy of criminal investigation. However, the G-RAP “rules” changed at least 60 times during the life of the program (16). Understanding the “rules” of G-RAP at any given point in time requires a detailed analysis based on a significant review of multiple documents (17). In the vast majority of cases, if the Soldier violated the “rules,” it is more likely due to confusion rather than a deliberate desire to cheat the system. With unrelenting intensity, CID doesn’t investigate an alleged crime; they gather slanted “evidence” to prove that a crime was committed. CID, in fact, has been responsible for elevating an inability to follow the rules of a program run by a private contractor to the level of a crime. One example: at various times full time members of the National Guard were authorized to participate in G-RAP, at other times they were ineligible. If a Soldier entered G-RAP when full time members were allowed, but submitted data for payment months later when full time members were not allowed, that Soldier is investigated for fraud.
16 See Agent’s Investigation Report, CID Special Agent Julie Thurlow, November 22, 2013.
17 National Guard Bureau changed the rules via a contract change order sent to Docupak.
9. “SPHERE OF INFLUENCE” AND OTHER VAGUE GUIDANCE.
Soldiers participating in G-RAP received instruction to recruit from their “sphere of influence.” This term was never defined. It’s unclear if the intent of this language was to limit recruitment to pre-existing relationships. Regardless of NGB’s intent, the Soldiers received a very different message. For example, once hired by Docupak, Soldiers were provided marketing items such as t-shirts with the message “ask me about the National Guard.” None of the marketing items provided would have been necessary to recruit people already known to the Soldier. Now, these same Soldiers are investigated and some prosecuted for recruiting outside their sphere of influence. Likewise, Soldiers were told that they “shouldn’t” wear their uniform when conducting recruiting activities. If this were truly a prohibited action worthy of investigation, the “rule” would have been written as “you are prohibited from wearing your uniform.”
10. “I DON’T REMEMBER = GUILTY.”
When CID agents track down and contact recruits many years after their enlistment into the National Guard, most don’t remember the details of their interaction with the recruiting assistant. To the CID agents, this means the RA committed misconduct. The alternative explanation is unfathomable to the agents: the recruit, 7 years later, just doesn’t remember. This is especially problematic since Government prosecutors use this lack of memory to charge the Soldier with Aggravated Identity Theft (18), a charge that carries a mandatory minimum term of prison sentence of two years.
18 18 USC § 1028A.
“EXTRA CREDIT:” CID KNEW ABOUT ALLEGED FRAUD FOR FIVE YEARS BEFORE TAKING ACTION.
On May 22, 2007, five years before G-RAP was shut down, Agents from Army CID, Air Force OSI, and Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) met with Docupak to discuss potential fraud in the program (19). A representative of the United States Department of Justice (20) was also in attendance. The agents specifically instructed Docupak not to notify the State Adjutant Generals, National Guard Bureau, or the contracting officer regarding alleged fraud. This effectively cut off any ability to clarify confusing rules and or enhance fraud prevention measures. Importantly, it also prevented Governors and Adjutants General to execute their Constitutional duty of regulating their National Guard force and apply appropriate discipline (21). Likewise, notification the responsible contracting officer at NGB would have triggered remedial action. Instead, the CID sat on this information for five years, causing a relatively minor amount of confusion to escalate into what we have now – another major bonus scandal ensnaring thousands of junior Soldiers facing accusations.
19 2014 Inspector General Report, page 40, paragraph g, and footnote 142.
20 Presumably a licensed attorney.
21 The Governor’s and TAG’s Constitutional authority to regulate and discipline Guard members included the full time recruiting force in each state, some of whom were suspected of misconduct. These Soldiers operate under the exclusive military jurisdiction of the relevant State Military Code of Justice.
Few Soldiers have the financial resources to mount a proper defense to federal criminal charges. Faced with the possibility of prison time, many take a plea bargain to avoid the risk of prison, financial ruin or deepening emotional trauma to themselves and their families. Even if the accused Soldiers are not prosecuted, the collateral consequences seem never ending. The investigation will continue to haunt them for years to come. Security clearances will be revoked or suspended, and the Government will initiate proceedings to “debar” the Soldier from future employment as a government contractor. Eventually, the case file will be forwarded to the State National Guard headquarters for military justice or administrative action. The range of administrative sanctions includes separation boards, official reprimands and being required to rebut CID’s flawed conclusions to a promotion review board. The administrative flag on their personnel file will continue until all military administrative actions are complete (22). Finally, many of these same Soldiers, never prosecuted in a court of law will have a federal criminal history created as a result of being investigated, “titled” and “founded” by CID.
22 A “flag” prevents any favorable action including re-enlisting, awards, and promotions. The flag does not prevent orders to deploy overseas (again). Flags as a result of G-RAP investigations have been in place for four or more years at this point.
Fort Hood Army soldier Thomas Chestnut, 28, was freed from a Kansas military prison on December 23, 2016 after an appellate court overturned a guilty verdict on December 14, 2016. The Army Court of Criminal Appeals overturned the conviction finding evidence in the case as “factually insufficient.” The case stems from an accusation by a third party of a sexual assault of a man in August 2012 at Fort Sam Houston near San Antonio, Texas. Chestnut was charged and found guilty by a military jury on one count of sexual assault and found not guilty of one specification of assault consummated by a battery. Chestnut testified that the encounter with the other soldier was consensual and the third party was trying to deflect attention from himself. Chestnut was sentenced on July 2, 2014 to three years in prison at Fort Leavenworth, a reduction in rank to private, and forfeiture of all pay. After Thomas Chestnut was exonerated, he was entitled to back pay and an honorable discharge from the military when he completed his time in service. Thomas was honorably discharged from the Army in January 2017 but had not yet been able to get his back pay. Thomas shared his thoughts on his wrongful conviction and his two and a half year imprisonment in mostly solitary confinement for a crime he didn’t commit.
“How could I respect the authority of such a corrupt system and such a corrupt institution? Not after what they did to me, to us, as I am not alone in this you see. Hundreds of my fellow veterans have also been falsely accused and forced into prison. Obviously, the military leadership lacks the maturity and ethics to handle sexual assault cases in a balanced adult way. They should not have authority in these matters.” via Save Our Heroes
Thomas Chestnut spent 2 1/2 years in prison where he was placed in solitary confinement and allegedly abused by prison guards. Thomas admits the prejudiced military justice system, corruption, and prison experience traumatized him. He most likely suffers from a form of institutional abuse. In December 2016, the appeals court overturned his conviction, he was cleared of all charges, released from prison, and promised back pay. Thomas stated: “I have nothing. No place of my own, no car, and little money. The Army has no plan for someone with a case overturned, so I’ve been more or less thrown out on the street.” Thomas Chestnut most likely has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after the betrayal by the military justice system and the abuse he endured in prison marked as a man who rapes other men. In February 2017, Chestnut attempted to get his back pay from the Army as he had nothing, no job, no place to live, no means to take care of himself. The Army didn’t help him or give him the answers he deserved when it came to his backpay.
At this point, Thomas most likely had a post traumatic stress meltdown simply from having to deal with the same institution that wrongfully convicted him of a crime. After he didn’t get the answers he deserved regarding his back pay, he got angry and threatened to harm individuals at Fort Hood. As a result, Chestnut was arrested by FBI agents and charged with making threats to kill individuals at Fort Hood. Thomas has been in federal custody ever since he made the threats and now the life that he may have had a second chance at was taken away from him again. Obviously, Thomas shouldn’t have threatened to kill individuals at Ft Hood but the backpay issue and the fact he has PTSD should have been a mitigating factor in this case. For example, the state of destitution he was in and his legitimate need for money to sustain and take care of himself most likely triggered his post traumatic stress symptoms. He was desperate and the Army’s indifference and stonewalling most likely caused an already emotionally fragile man to disassociate and lash out. If he was within the state’s jurisdiction, chances are he would have access to a veteran’s court that would fight to give him another chance. Instead, Thomas Chestnut is in federal prison for 18 months for one threatening phone call.
Could Dripping Springs soldier go free after sex assault conviction?
UNITED STATES, Appellee v. Private First Class THOMAS A. CHESTNUT United States Army, Appellant (12/14/16)
Army court: Fort Hood soldier cleared in 2014 sexual assault case
Exonerated Fort Hood soldier gets an honorable discharge
A Soldier’s Story of Survival after Being Falsely Accused of Sexual Assault in the U.S. Army
FBI arrests ex-Fort Hood soldier after threats against officials
Former soldier threatened to kill at Fort Hood, prosecutors say
Feds: Dripping Springs man threatened mass shooting at Fort Hood
Dripping Springs man threatened mass shooting at Fort Hood, feds say
Ex-Soldier Accused of Threatening Fort Hood Shooting Rampage
Man accused of Ft Hood threats appears before federal magistrate
Jury reaches verdict in Thomas Chestnut trial
Federal Jury Convicts Dripping Springs Man of Making Threats to Kill Individuals on Fort Hood
Ex-soldier convicted of threatening Fort Hood rampage
Former soldier convicted in threats against Fort Hood
Federal jury convicts Dripping Springs man of making death threats at the post
Dripping Springs soldier gets 18 months in prison for mass shooting threats
Ex-Soldier Gets 18 Months for Threatening Fort Hood Rampage
Ex-soldier gets 18 months for threatening Fort Hood rampage
73 Fort Hood Soldiers Died Since January 2016: 4 Insider Attacks & 2 Suicides Overseas; 67 Stateside Deaths Including 34 Alleged Suicides & 1 Unsolved Homicide
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas (US Army)
Washington DC Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (2017)
Killeen Calling in Feds to Combat Crime
Gangs in the US Army Documentary
Seeking Justice with Change Your POV
The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. Sgt. First Class Allan E. Brown, 46, of Takoma Park, Maryland, died December 6, 2016 at Walter Reed National Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, of injuries sustained from an improvised explosive device in Bagram, Afghanistan, that occurred on Nov. 12. He was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Special Troops Battalion, 1st Sustainment Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.
Also killed in the incident were:
Allan Brown deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from August 2006 to August 2007, November 2008 to October 2009, and December 2010 to December 2011. Brown deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from July 2014 to September 2014. He deployed in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel from September to December 2016.
“He was killed by a suicide bomber standing on Disney Road,” Greene said of Brown, the words still hard to say, carefully choosing them, her throat filled with sorrow. “That day was one of the most traumatic days of my life.” Two American contractors were also killed. Fifteen American troops and one Polish soldier were wounded. It’s been almost four years since the attack that forever changed the life of this proud veteran who has seen so much and lost even more. –Local Veteran Remembers SFC Allen Brown, Fox West Texas (May 25, 2020)
SFC Allan Eric Brown | Find a Grave
DoD Identifies Army Casualty (Dec. 7, 2016)
Sgt. First Class Allan E. Brown | Military Times
Never Forgotten: The Fort Hood Fallen (2016)
Fort Hood Veteran Dies From IED Injuries
Death of a Fort Hood Soldier – Sgt. First Class Allan E. Brown
3rd 1st Cav Soldier Dies from Afghanistan Suicide Bombing
Maryland soldier injured in Afghanistan suicide attack dies
Soldier from Takoma Park dies of injuries from bomb blast
Fort Hood soldier dies after being injured in Afghanistan
Takoma Park soldier dies from wounds in Afghanistan bombing
Soldier succumbs to wounds received during November suicide bombing in Afghanistan
3rd soldier dies from wounds suffered in November suicide attack on Bagram
Third Fort Hood Soldier dies of injuries from Afghanistan suicide attack
Third Fort Hood Soldier dies of injuries from Afghanistan suicide attack
Third Fort Hood soldier dies of wounds suffered in Afghanistan
Family, friends remember life of fallen soldier
1st Cav Div RSSB dedicates memorial at BAF
‘He was killed by a suicide bomber’ | Local veteran remembers SFC Allen Brown
Army Pfc. Tyler Iubelt Died of Injuries Sustained from Suicide Bomber at Post-Veterans Day Fun Run on Secure Base in Bagram, Afghanistan (November 12, 2016)
Army Sgt. John Perry Died of Injuries Sustained from Suicide Bomber at Post-Veterans Day Fun Run on Secure Base in Bagram, Afghanistan (November 12, 2016)
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside (January 1, 2016 to Present)
When the 19-year old wife of a Marine vanishes without a trace in the California desert, investigators launch a massive search. They soon uncover a secret love triangle and a mystery with multiple suspects. Andrea Canning reports. -Dateline NBC
Marine Corps spouse Erin Corwin, 19, was reported missing on June 29, 2014 by her husband who was stationed at Camp Pendleton near Twentynine Palms in California. After an extensive investigation and search, Erin’s body was found in an abandoned mine shaft on August 16th, 2014. During the investigation, authorities learned that Erin was having an affair with another Marine. This Marine was identified as Christopher Lee, 29, who was arrested in Alaska after Erin’s body was recovered from the mine shaft. Christopher admitted that he killed Erin but said it was because he became angry after she confessed to molesting his daughter.
The prosecution theorized he killed her to silence her and hide the pregnancy from his wife. He tricked her into believing that he was going to propose to her and instead he approached Erin from behind and strangled her for at least five minutes with a garrote made up of two pieces of rebar and a cord. After Lee was satisfied Erin was dead, he dragged her body to a mine shaft in the desert and pushed her in head first. Christopher Lee was found guilty of first-degree murder by civilian authorities and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Editor’s Note: You can watch the full episode of Dateline for a limited time on the NBC app. Download the app and binge on the last couple years of programming.
In the News:
Investigators are searching for the beautiful, pregnant wife of a U.S. marine corporal who was last seen over a week ago. 19-year-old Erin Corwin was reportedly last seen leaving her Twentynine Palms, CA home around 7 a.m. on June 28 to go to nearby Joshua Tree National Park. Her husband of a year and a half Jonathan reported her missing the next day. Days after she disappeared, Erin’s mother Lore Heavilin found out that her daughter was about 3 months pregnant. -HLN (July 7, 2014)
An eyewitness spoke out Wednesday, describing the last time he saw the pregnant Marine wife who’s been missing for more than two weeks.Michael Beasley said he saw Erin Corwin get into a red car with another man and drive away. He added that it didn’t appear she was being forced into the car in any way.Corwin was last seen on June 28 leaving a home she shares with her husband, headed to Joshua Tree National Park. Her husband, Lance Cpl. Jonathan Corwin, reported her missing a day later when she never returned. -HLN (July 16, 2014)
According to a new search warrant affidavit released this week, homicide detectives now believe that — on the day she vanished — missing Marine wife Erin Corwin went on a day trip with a neighbor and ex-Marine whom she was romantically involved with. -HLN (July 22, 2014)
New police documents reveal Erin Corwin was having an affair with her married neighbor and told her friend the two were spending the day together when she went missing. -HLN (July 22, 2014)
Erin Corwin was last seen leaving her home on June 28, and was reportedly heading to Joshua Tree National Park. -HLN (July 22, 2014)
Following the discovery of Erin Corwin’s remains, friends and family father to honor her memory and begin healing. -WATE 6 On Your Side (September 19, 2014)
Part 1: Erin Corwin vanished after having a miscarriage and growing distant from her husband. She was allegedly pregnant at the time of her disappearance. -Crime Watch Daily (May 3, 2017)
Part 2: Erin Corwin vanished after having a miscarriage and growing distant from her husband. She was allegedly pregnant at the time of her disappearance. -Crime Watch Daily (May 3, 2017)
Part 3: Erin Corwin vanished after having a miscarriage and growing distant from her husband. She was allegedly pregnant at the time of her disappearance. -Crime Watch Daily (May 3, 2017)
48 Hours (CBS):
“48 Hours: NCIS” takes you inside the real-life investigation of a 19-year-old Marine wife who vanished in the desert. “The Marine’s Wife” uncovers the story of Erin Corwin and her disappearance. – CBS News (June 12, 2018)
Erin Corwin Reported Missing in California; Former Twentynine Palms Marine Christopher Lee Convicted of Pre-Meditated Murder, Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole (June 29, 2014)
Former Twentynine Palms Marine Christopher Lee Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole for the Murder of Erin Corwin in the Joshua Tree National Park, California (November 29, 2016)
48 Hours NCIS Premiered ‘The Marine’s Wife’: Christopher Lee Strangled Erin Corwin After Finding Out She May Be Pregnant With His Child, Disposed of Body in a Mine Shaft (June 12, 2018)
Body found, arrest made in case of missing Marine wife
Man accused of killing Marine wife arrested
Erin Corwin’s body found – Christopher Brandon Lee arrested
Erin Corwin had affair with Christopher Brandon Lee, affidavit reveals
Former Marine Admits To Killing Military Wife
Marine’s Wife Vanishes After Affair (Pt 1)
Marine’s Wife Vanishes After Affair (Pt 2)
Marine’s Wife Vanishes After Affair (Pt 3)
Dateline Episode Trailer: Secrets of the Desert
Dateline Episode Trailer: Double Lives
Dateline NBC: SBCoFD Assists Search & Rescue of Erin Corwin
Watch Murdered Marine Wife Erin Corwin’s Husband Reveal Their Last Conversation in Dateline Preview
Dateline NBC to tell Erin Corwin, Christopher Lee story
Erin Corwin, Christopher Lee Profiled on ‘Dateline’: Pregnant Military Wife’s Dead Body Found in Desert Mine Shaft After Sexual Affair with Marine
Suspect in Marine wife’s slaying may have feared she was pregnant
Ex-Marine claims he murdered his colleague’s wife, whom he had got pregnant, by pushing her down a mine shaft ‘because she admitted to molesting his daughter’
5 Things to Know About the Murder of Marine Wife Erin Corwin, Allegedly Killed by Lover
Shocking Courtroom Confession in Marine Wife’s Murder
Mother of former Twentynine Palms Marine accused of killing mistress testifies
Accused killer Christopher Lee wants you to know why he killed Erin Corwin
Ex-Marine found guilty of murdering pregnant lover
Man found guilty of killing fellow Marine’s pregnant wife
Erin Corwin death: Christopher Lee found guilty of murder
Former Marine sentenced to life in 2014 murder of pregnant lover
Christopher Lee gets life in prison for Erin Corwin’s murder
Marine Wife Erin Corwin’s Lover Gets Life in Prison for Her Murder
Christopher Lee sentenced to life in prison for killing Erin Corwin
Dateline: The Last Day (full episode)
Justice for Erin Corwin
Erin Corwin candlelight vigil
Young pregnant military wife vanishes
Marine’s pregnant wife missing from California
Erin Corwin – pregnant woman missing in California
Please help find Erin Corwin Missing Marine Wife out of 29 Palms
Pregnant Woman, Marine’s Wife Disappears In California
Oakridge Woman Now Missing Three Weeks
Missing pregnant wife seen with mystery man?
Was missing marine wife living a double life?
Cops: Missing Marine wife was having an affair
Missing pregnant woman Erin Corwin’s car found
Car of missing pregnant woman found; search continues
Missing marine wife: Search warrants issued
Alaska Mine Reveals Missing Wife
Erin Corwin’s Body Recovered, Suspect Arrested