Military Murder, Manslaughter, and Homicide Defense (UCMJ Articles 118, 119, 134)
Military allegations of unlawful killing, such as murder (UCMJ Article 118), manslaughter (UCMJ Article 119), and negligent homicide (UCMJ Article 134), can have devastating legal, professional, personal and family consequences. These investigations and court-martial trials are often very complicated and lengthy, and defending against these alleged crimes often involves attacking and using many different experts in disciplines such as toxicology, pathology, clinical medicine, emergency medicine and trauma, forensic crime scene analysis and reconstruction, analysis of DNA/blood/tissue/bodily fluids evidence, ballistics, psychology/psychiatry, and mitigation.
A court-martial conviction in such a case could result in a sentence including the death penalty (premeditated murder with aggravating factors), mandatory life in prison (premeditated murder), lengthy prison term, dishonorable discharge or dismissal, and a variety of other extremely negative outcomes. An experienced and aggressive defense attorney is absolutely vital in these military cases.
Allegations of unlawful killing under the UCMJ are covered by:
- Premeditated murder [UCMJ Article 118(1)]
- Murder [UCMJ Article 118(2) – intent to kill or inflict great bodily harm]
- Murder [UCMJ Article 118(3) – act inherently dangerous to another]
- Murder [UCMJ Article 118(4) – act committed during certain offenses]
- Voluntary manslaughter [UCMJ Article 119(1)]
- Involuntary manslaughter [UCMJ Article 119(2)]
- Death or injury or unborn child [UCMJ Article 119a]
- Negligent homicide [UCMJ Article 134, para 85]
Civilian court-martial defense lawyer Richard V. Stevens has defended military clients accused of premeditated murder, murder, murder by inherently dangerous act and involuntary manslaughter by act of culpable negligence. He has also defended against court-martial claims of attempted murder, solicitation of murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Some of the victims of these alleged acts have included wives, children, friends/associates and allegations arising out of combat in the Middle East. Some of the methods alleged for committing these offenses in these cases have included shooting, strangulation, stabbing, attempted decapitation, assault/beating, poisoning and motor vehicle accident (DUI fatality). More specifically, these cases have included allegations of:
- A military officer accused of solicitation to commit the murder of Iraqi al Qaeda terrorist insurgents during combat operations in Iraq.
- A military NCO accused of premeditated murder of Iraqi al Qaeda terrorist insurgent, attempted murder and solicitation to commit murder during combat operations in Iraq.
- A military officer accused of premeditated murder of wife by poisoning.
- A military officer accused of attempted murder of wife by poisoning (reduced to assault).
- A military NCO accused of murder of wife by strangulation.
- A military NCO accused of murder of infant child by blunt force trauma (beating).
- A military enlisted member accused of murder of toddler by smothering.
- A military enlisted member accused of murder, reduced to manslaughter, due to DUI accident.
- A military enlisted member accused of rape and attempted murder by attempted decapitation.
Attorney Richard V. Stevens has also provided consultation to defense attorneys defending military murder cases with adult and child victims, including alleged “shaken baby” cases and cases involving alleged fatal child abuse.
Both attorneys Richard V. Stevens and Frank J. Spinner have been invited guests and speakers (to military defense attorney attendees) at the International Conference of National Child Abuse Defense & Resource Center (NCADRC) in Las Vegas.
Civilian court-martial defense lawyer Frank J. Spinner has defended military clients accused of premeditated murder, murder, and manslaughter, including cases alleging unlawful killings arising out of combat in the Middle East and two (very rare) military death penalty cases. These cases are further described in the “About Us” and “Notable Cases” tabs.
Richard V. Stevens and Frank J. Spinner are civilian criminal defense attorneys and former military JAG lawyers who exclusively practice military law and defend military members stationed around the world who are facing military trials, discipline and investigations. If you’re facing allegations of murder, manslaughter or homicide in the military, don’t hesitate to seek the legal help you’re going to need. For a free initial case consultation, please contact us.