Fricke dead, case still good law

Navy Times reports:

A former Navy officer who was serving time for hiring someone to kill his wife was killed in a Kansas military prison a month before he was supposed to be released.

Officials at Fort Leavenworth say 54-year-old former Navy Lt. Cmdr. Michael Fricke was beaten with a baseball bat by another inmate on July 24. He died Thursday after his family authorized taking him off life support.

Fricke had served 16 years of the 30-year sentence for his involvement in the murder of his wife, Roxanne, who was shot to death the parking lot of a Kempsville supermarket in 1988.

Fricke pleaded guilty during his 1994 court-martial to avoid a possible death sentence. He said he agreed to pay a man he had been stationed with at Oceana Naval Air Station $25,000 to find someone to kill his wife.

United States v. Fricke, 53 M.J. 149 (C.A.A.F. 2000).

Here is subsequent action at NMCCA, in United States v. Fricke, NMCCA 9601293, 2004 CCA LEXIS (N-M. Ct. Crim. App. April 9, 200), rev. granted, 60 M.J. 332, 2004 CAAF LEXIS 914 (C.A.A.F., 2004), aff’d, 60 M.J. 332, 2004 CAAF LEXIS 907 (C.A.A.F., 2004).

A predecessor panel of this court affirmed the findings and sentence in the appellant’s general court-martial. United States v. Fricke, 48 M.J. 547 (N.M.Ct.Crim.App. 1998). Afterwards, our superior court affirmed our decision as to the findings, but set it aside as to the sentence. United States v. Fricke, 53 M.J. 149, 155-56 (C.A.A.F. 2000). The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) also directed that the case be remanded to the Judge Advocate General for further proceedings in accordance with its decision and United States v. DuBay, 17 C.M.A. 147, 37 C.M.R. 411 (1967) [*2]  on the remaining issue of unlawful pretrial punishment, after which the record was to be returned to this court for review under Article 66(c), Uniform Code of Military Justice, 10 U.S.C. § 866(c).
The proceedings directed by CAAF have been conducted, and the record is now before us for completion of review. Since the findings in this case have already been affirmed by our superior court, our review on remand is limited to the issue of unlawful pretrial punishment, specifically "the conditions actually imposed on appellant during his pretrial confinement and the intent of detention officials in imposing those conditions." Fricke, 53 M.J. at 155; see United States v. Quiroz, 57 M.J. 583, 586 (N.M.Ct.Crim.App. 2002)(citing United States v. Riley, 55 M.J. 185, 188 (C.A.A.F. 2001)).

We have carefully reviewed the entire record of trial, including the DuBay proceedings held pursuant to the mandate of our superior court. We have also considered the pleadings and supplemental briefs of both parties. Finding that the record does not support the appellant’s assertions of unlawful pretrial punishment, we conclude that the approved sentence is correct in law and fact, and that no error materially prejudicial to the substantial rights of the appellant occurred. Art. 66(c), UCMJ.

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