Up periscope!–potential new death penalty case

Image_15607357.jpgStars & Stripes reports:  A Kadena airman will face court-martial on murder charges following the February stabbing death of a member of his squadron and could be sentenced to death, according to an Air Force 18th Wing announcement Monday.

The victim’s wife, 32-year-old Barbara Keiko Eccleston, was charged by Okinawa prosecutors in the slaying in February. She was living in Japan as a Brazilian national and faces charges under Japanese law.

Here is a link to a Writ filed with AFCCA in this case, United States v. Cron.  Cron had sought appointment of an interpreter for his Article 32, UCMJ, hearing, which was of course denied by the CA. 

The petitioner requested appointment of a confidential expert consultant to provide assistance
in translating statements of potential government witnesses from Portuguese to English. . .  [Portugese is a language of Brazil.]

In denying the request the court noted that “that the petitioner has not yet appeared before the Article 32, UCMJ, investigating officer, who may note the appellant’s concerns for the record.  Additionally, if the charges are referred to a court-martial, the petitioner can move to reopen the Article 32 investigation, if she feels she has not been afforded a full and fair investigation or has been denied the effective assistance of counsel.” Such is the case here.

Seems like a standard denial (in a potential death penalty case even), of a matter that can be raised with the military judge.  AFCCA was referring to Graves v. United States, NMCCA No. 200501108 (N-M. Ct. Crim. App. 26 Aug 2005).  NMCCA has this as United States v. Graves on their website.

Here are links provided by Stars & Stripes.

  • Kadena staff sergeant charged in stabbing death of fellow airman
  • Wife charged with murder in Kadena airman’s death
  • Woman to stand trial in stabbing death of Kadena airman
  • Knives believed used in slaying of Kadena airman found in river.  (It looks like they may have gotten to the knives from a statement Cron made to a co-detainee at the Camp Hansen Brig.  Cron has been in PTC since 13 February 2011.
  • Memorial service set for airman found dead on Okinawa
  • Police: Death of Kadena airman being treated as homicide
  • Kadena airman found dead in off-base apartment

Cross posted on CMTP/CAAFLog.