A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (April 2018)

April 2018

Missing:
Patrick F. Carnes, Nevada (2011) | Missing Veterans
Mother Joins Search for Navy Officer Son Who Vanished on Way to Submarine Based in Connecticut
Federal agencies get involved with search for missing Martinsville man

Cold Cases:
Air Force Col. Philip Shue Died in an Apparent Car Accident, But Autopsy Revealed Much More; Texas Judge Ruled Cause of Death as Homicide (April 16, 2003)
Unsolved Homicide: Fort Hood Army Pvt. Justin Lewis Shot & Killed Near Vacant Lot in Neighborhood in Killeen, Texas (April 17, 2017)

Reward Offered:
$11K offered in hunt for Marine accused of killing detective’s daughter
Former Marine wanted for murder believed to be in Mexico, manhunt underway
Authorities ask for public’s help in locating ex-Marine fugitive

Petitions:
Advocate for review and reform of injustice in the Military

Announcements:
Veterans legal clinic scheduled in Killeen
Save Our Heroes Sends Letter of Concern to Joint Regional Correctional Facility Leavenworth, Re Violation of the United Nations Human Rights Commission

Legislation:
This Gunnery Sergeant’s job destroyed his body to the point of retirement
Diagnosed With Leukemia, This Officer Was One Year From Retirement

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Army Spc. Barron Von Reichelt Died From Injuries Suffered in an Automobile Accident on South Range Road at Fort Hood (2017)

Barron Von Reichelt

Spc. Barron Von Reichelt, US Army

Army Spc. Barron Von Reichelt, 24, died from injuries suffered in an automobile accident on South Range Road at Fort Hood on January 7, 2017. Spc. Reichelt’s home of record is listed as Las Vegas, Nevada; he joined the Army in January 2015 as a cannon crew member. Spc. Reichelt was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood since April 2016.

Related Links:
Obituary: Spc. Barron Reichelt
Spc. Barron Von Reichelt | Pamplin Media Group
Death of a Fort Hood Soldier – Spc. Barron Von Reichelt
Fallen Warriors | Spc. Barron Von Reichelt
Army identifies Fort Hood soldier killed in car crash
Officials Identify Fort Hood Soldier Who Died In Car Crash
Fort Hood Soldier Fatally Wounded in Auto Accident Identified
Fort Hood soldier killed in on-post car accident
Soldier killed in accident at Fort Hood identified, officials say
Fort Hood: Soldier dies in weekend crash
Fort Hood soldier dies in car accident
Fort Hood soldier dies in car accident | Fox 8 Live
Fort Hood soldier dies in car accident | Telemundo Amarillo
Fort Hood soldier dies in car accident | FOX Carolina 21
Fort Hood IDs soldier killed in crash
Barron Von Reichelt Killed in Fort Hood, TX, Car Accident
Number of recent Fort Hood soldier deaths raises questions
Soldier Found Dead At Fort Hood, 13th Body Found Since September
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)
73 Fort Hood Soldiers Died Since January 2016: 4 Insider Attacks & 2 Suicides Overseas; 67 Stateside Deaths Including 34 Alleged Suicides & 1 Unsolved Homicide
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook

Army Soldier Sgt Marcus Rogers Investigated for Involvement in Drowning Death of Spc. Dhaifal Ali; Demoted One Rank for Failing to Follow Military Orders, Creek Off-Limits (2016)

marcus-rogers

Sgt. Marcus Rogers, US Army

On July 8, 2016, Fort Campbell, Kentucky Army soldier Spc. Dhaifal Ali was swept away by a current in a creek on the post. Spc. Ali was there with two other Army soldiers, one of them was Sgt. Marcus Rogers, who was baptizing him. The Emergency Management Agency reported that the creek had been swollen from heavy rains and severe storms; Dhaifal Ali’s body was recovered several days later. On September 6, 2016, Fort Campbell reported that they were investigating the circumstances surrounding Ali’s ‘accidental death.’ MJFA received notification this month that Sgt. Marcus Rogers had a hearing and an Instagram update on December 15, 2016 verified that Sgt. Rogers reports that he was demoted one rank from SSG to SGT as a result of his involvement in the accidental drowning of Spc. Ali. Sources reveal on YouTube that Sgt. Roger’s failed to follow military orders when he took Spc. Ali to the creek which was off limits. No further information is available at this time.

Related Links:
Soldier in viral video: ISIS is a distraction from Satan, Jesus coming soon
U.S. Soldier Exposes The Real Motive Behind ISIS Paris Attack [VIDEO]
Army Sergeant Delivers Fiery Message About Spiritual Forces Behind the Paris Terror Attacks and the ‘Chaos Going on All Over the World’
Paris Attacks: United States Army Sergeant Marcus Rogers Goes Viral With The ‘Real Truth’ Behind ISIS and Terrorism
Army Sergeant Has a Simple but Powerful Message for Those Rioting in Baltimore
Army Sergeant Posts Powerful Message to Baltimore Thugs (Now He’s Under Attack!)
Army Sergeant Receives Threats After Recording Brutal Takedown Of Baltimore Rioters
Black Army Sgt Receives Threats After Saying This About Race Rioters
Marcus Rogers and Anti-Intellectualism
Search continues for Fort Campbell soldier swept away in creek
Fort Campbell Soldier Drowns
Soldier Drowns After Baptism Goes Bad At Fort Campbell
Soldier said to have been killed in flood may have been drowned by a Staff Sergeant
Fort Campbell Soldier, Muslim Convert Drowns After Baptism by Popular Internet Christian Preacher
United States Staff Sergeant Marcus Rogers: Army of God
The Death of Dhaifal Ali ….by Marcus Rogers (YouTube)
JUSTICE for Spec.Dhaifal Ali (YouTube)

JUSTICE for Spec.Dhaifal Ali died due to another Soldiers ego..Marcus Rogers done a unauthorised Baptism at a creek which was off limits to all Military personal …..

Fort Campbell Army Spc. Dhaifal Ali Swept Away by Creek Current During Baptism with Sgt Marcus Rogers, Cause of Death Ruled Accidental Drowning (2016)

ali

Spc. Dhaifal Ali, US Army

On July 8, 2016, Army soldier Specialist Dhaifal Ali of Fort Campbell, Kentucky was swept away by a creek current on the post. Spc. Ali was at the creek with two other Army soldiers, one of them was Sgt. Marcus Rogers, who was baptizing him. The Emergency Management Agency reported that the creek had been swollen from heavy rains and severe storms; Dhaifal Ali’s body was recovered several days later and his obituary lists the date of his death on July 12, 2016. On September 6, 2016, Fort Campbell reported that they were investigating the circumstances surrounding Ali’s ‘accidental death.’ MJFA received notification this month that Sgt. Marcus Rogers had an Army hearing to determine his culpability in Ali’s death. An Instagram update on December 15, 2016 revealed that Sgt. Rogers was demoted one rank from SSG to SGT as a result of his involvement in the accidental drowning of Spc. Ali. Sources reveal on YouTube that Sgt. Roger’s failed to follow military orders when he took Spc. Ali to the creek which was off limits.

Related Links:
Obituary: Dhaifal Ali
Spc. Dhaifal Ali, 34, US Army – Remembrance
Army identifies 101st Airborne soldier who was swept away in creek
Search continues for Fort Campbell soldier swept away in creek
Fort Campbell soldier’s body found after being swept away in creek
Fort Campbell Soldier Drowns
Soldier Swept Away in Severe Weather Is Identified
Fort Campbell soldier who died in creek identified
Fort Campbell soldier swept away by current identified
Fort Campbell soldier whose body was found in creek identified
Soldier Drowns After Baptism Goes Bad At Fort Campbell
Soldier said to have been killed in flood may have been drowned by a Staff Sergeant
Fort Campbell Soldier, Muslim Convert Drowns After Baptism by Popular Internet Christian Preacher
The Death of Dhaifal Ali ….by Marcus Rogers (YouTube)
JUSTICE for Spec.Dhaifal Ali (YouTube)
Fort Campbell Soldier Drowns After Baptism

Army Pfc Jennifer Cole Died of a Non Combat Related Incident in Iraq, Cause of Death was Negligent Homicide (2008)

Honoring Pfc Jennifer Cole @USArmy (2008)

Pfc. Jennifer Cole, US Army

Pfc. Jennifer Cole, US Army, died of a non combat related incident in Bayji, Iraq on August 2, 2008. Pfc. Cole was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom on behalf of the 426th Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. An investigation revealed that Jennifer died of a gunshot wound to the abdomen. According to the family, she was accidentally shot by a fellow Army soldier while they were cleaning their weapons. They learned that the weapon had not been cleared prior to the cleaning and no one is sure how it got into the place where Jennifer was shot. The soldier (Thurston) responsible for the accidental shooting was charged with negligent homicide. He spent 30 days in military jail and was given a general discharge from the Army. Jennifer’s mom, Candy Gholson, shared with Napa Valley, California newspapers that the Army wouldn’t give her information, provide her with paperwork, or tell her exactly what happened to her daughter.

Candy Gholson shared that she heard three different versions and wanted to know exactly what happened. She also shared that she learned from Jennifer’s roommate in the Army that no one ever questioned her and they both thought that odd considering most investigations start with those closest to the victim. Both Jennifer’s parents shared the frustration that it is not easy getting answers from a military organization or is it easy dealing with the bureaucracy of the Army and their typical federal government run-around. The parents were told to go through the Freedom of Information Act for the investigation report but the Army warned them it could take up to a year to get the trial transcript they were requesting. Jennifer’s step father, a US Marine Corps veteran, reiterated that he too wanted to know the details of what happened and that he didn’t have hard feelings towards the soldier who killed his step-daughter. But he does feel that Thurston’s superiors should have been court-martialed for ineffective supervision and oversight of the weapons.

“I understand they had a trial for the guy (Thurston) who shot my daughter. I was told he spent 30 days in a military jail and was discharged from the Army. He didn’t get a dishonorable discharge, but the one just above that. But I have never received any paperwork to that effect,” Gholson said. “I just want answers. And it’s not easy trying to get them from a military government institution. “I’ve heard three different stories from the Army about what happened the day Jennifer died,” Gholson said. “I want to know what exactly happened that day. There were witnesses. Why can’t the Army get the story straight?” ~Napa Valley Register

Related Links:
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Army Pfc. Jennifer L. Cole
Army Pfc. Jennifer L. Cole, 34, American Canyon
Pfc. Jennifer L. Cole, The Fort Campbell Courier
City Honors Army Pfc. Jennifer Cole
Accidentally killed by another soldier
Pfc. Cole laid to rest in Napa
Questions remain in Napa soldier’s death
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2008)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Iraq)
Violent Crime, Suicide & Non Combat Death at Fort Campbell, Kentucky (US Army)

Estevan Maestas Tragically Killed After He Detonated Live Hand Grenade Found in Rental Garage; Colorado Springs PD Believes Explosive Device Stolen from the Fort Carson Army Post (1978)


When a mysterious explosion rocks a sleepy suburb, it’s up to Kenda to ID a pile of charred remains and find the killer who triggered the blast. -Investigation Discovery

Homicide Hunter is an Investigation Discovery show featuring retired police Detective Lt. Joe Kenda (1973-1996). Lt. Kenda worked for the Colorado Springs Police Department for years and investigated and solved hundreds of cases during his employment. Now in his retirement, he outlines the cases that he encountered on the job and explains how he eventually solved the case. Colorado Springs is home of Fort Carson, an Army base with about 30,000 soldiers. This show is especially interesting given the fact that Lt. Kenda worked in a city with a close proximity to a large base. We have learned over time just how intertwined his job was with a military base known for an active role in fighting wars overseas over the years.

Exercises and deployments continually hone the skills of the Fort Carson Soldiers. When not deployed, Soldiers train annually at Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site and the National Training Center in California. Additionally, units participate in joint exercises around the world, including Central and South Africa, Europe, and Southwest Asia. In 2003, most Fort Carson units were deployed in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. ~Fort Carson History

Last night, Lt Joe Kenda discussed an explosives case that had been assigned to him. A powerful explosion occurred in a suburban neighborhood of Colorado Springs.  He was actually working on paperwork on a Sunday when he received a call from police on the scene. They think they found human remains in the remnants of a detached garage near a single dwelling home.  Joe was asked to investigate because this could be an intentional act of murder.  Joe shared that the scenes he has investigated over the years have been horrific and quite shocking to include this one.  As a result, he admitted that he has a hard time eating and sleeping, which are both signs of Post Traumatic Stress of which he admitted he has. This is a normal response for anyone who witnesses these acts of horror, especially over a long period of time.

After Joe arrived on the scene, he deduced that the damage looked like shrapnel damage. But his immediate thought was that it was most likely a gas explosion. He notices in the garage what looks like a large pile of human remains. Based on the remains, he assumed that it was most likely an adult male who was killed. If it’s not a gas explosion, what is it? A couple theories began to emerge including maybe the man lit a cigarette in an area with gas cans and exposed fuel or the victim was booby trapped with hidden wire. This could have been a murder.

Based on his fears of more explosives on scene, he decided to call the Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) Bomb Squad to investigate further to determine whether there were any more active munitions. He explained how explosive technicians truly understand explosives and other various devices. As soon as the Bomb Squad arrived at the scene, they immediately recognized the explosive had the smell of a military explosive. Fort Carson had this kind of ammunition on their base since before World War II. The Bomb Squad theorized that somebody from the base most likely smuggled it from Fort Carson and brought it to the current location.  A CSPD detective explained how now we have robots to investigate bomb scares but back then we didn’t have that. Explosive technicians put their lives on the line everyday but more so before the advent of robots and other technologies to help minimize the danger of their jobs.

The CSPD Bomb Squad found another hand grenade in the garage that appeared to be live. An ordinance specialist entered the garage and not only found another grenade but he also found evidence of the dead man who was blown up by the first grenade. The second grenade appeared to be untampered with and there were no other explosives found at that location. Police suspected that the victim could have been in the building when someone threw the grenade in. They needed to learn more about the victim to determine if he had any enemies that would do something like this. They learned that the house is a rental and the current tenants only moved in a couple of months ago. The neighbor shared that a man named Estevan had recently retired and moved into this location. While on scene, a police officer found a human index finger quite a distance from the remnants of the garage. This discovery changed the whole direction of the case because the finger was found with a wire around it and this was the pin ring from the hand grenade. The victim may have pulled the pin and detonated the explosive. This could have been an accident.

Joe needed to identify the victim so he started with taking the victim’s finger to the lab so they could attempt to identify him by finger print. The lab technicians told him that without a name, it could take months before they get a match. In the meantime, Estevan’s wife showed up at the police station after learning what happened at her residence. Joe had to tell her that her husband was dead. She shared that his name was Estevan Maestas and he was a custodian at the school with finger prints on file. Estevan was simply going to clean out the garage because the people who lived their before left a bunch of junk in there. She left the house after he went out to the garage. Because his past did not indicate that this could have been a suicide attempt, it was theorized that this was in fact a tragic accident. Estevan most likely found the grenade, had no idea that it was live and maybe he thought it was a toy. He pulled the pin and he never felt a thing, he never knew what hit him.

The CSPD speculated that the grenades had been stolen from Fort Carson and brought into this rental home by a soldier. They assumed that most likely this guy didn’t want to deal with having to dispose of the grenades so he just left them there to become the next person’s problem. This was a hard pill to swallow given a man lost his life over this reckless act. Why was it not followed up on? Given how the military has strict regulations and is supposed to have strict chain of custody records to help them track all explosives, it should be easy to determine whether or not this grenade came from this base. It could have been brought home as a souvenir from World War II, Vietnam, or the Gulf War era. Were they able to cross reference the rental records at the location of the explosion with Fort Carson soldiers? This case revealed more mystery then resolve. If a soldier did smuggle the grenades from the base, why was there no investigation for theft, and now maybe even manslaughter? It is assumed that this person intentionally left them behind because they didn’t want to properly dispose of them.

In theory, no soldier should have been able to get these grenades on a plane or off the base without a search or a documentation trail given how the military usually conducts business. Much like communications security equipment (COMSEC), ammunition is inventoried and kept under lock and key in an effort to prevent compromises with dangerous repercussions.  In most circumstances, if Fort Carson recognized that ammunition was missing, they would shut down the base until they found it. If someone dropped the ball at Fort Carson, a man lost his life because of careless documentation and security practices. And the Colorado bomb squad and Lt. Joe Kenda risked their lives in an effort to prevent anyone else from getting hurt or killed. Hopefully, soldiers learn a valuable lesson from this circumstance given it could have been a harmless act that went terribly wrong. Whoever left the grenades behind may not have intended for Estevan Maestas to die but he did. If a military member was responsible, it would be nice to know that the military has implemented safety and security procedures that can help prevent this kind of a tragedy from ever happening in our communities again.

Related Links:
Homicide Hunter ‘Point of No Return’
Va. Man Finds a Hand Grenade While Doing Yard Work
Army Vet Arrested For Storing Anti-Tank Round On Roof Of His Home
War keepsakes, lookalike grenades surface unexpectedly
Bomb squad investigating grenade ‘donated’ to Goodwill
Neighbors Make Explosive Find While Cleaning Veteran’s Closet
Former Army explosives tech pleads guilty to having live grenades
Grenade Found in Maryland Home During Eviction
Mom: 12-year-old finds old grenade near family’s front porch
2 grenades found in refrigerator at nursing home
‘Don’t assume it’s safe,’ police warn of finding veterans’ explosive memorabilia
Lessons Learned from a Military Ammunitions Explosion in Colorado Springs