Military Senior Noncommissioned Officer Found Not Guilty of Attempt to Kill Unborn Child in Court-Martial Trial (UCMJ Article 119a)

Recently, a military senior noncommissioned officer who faced a general court-martial (GCM) in which he was accused of domestic violence was found not guilty of attempt to kill an unborn child (UCMJ Article 119a). The accused military member was defended by our military law attorney Richard V. Stevens.

The military SNCO client was accused of multiple acts of domestic violence. Prior to trial, he had made written statements that included damaging admissions. He was convicted of the acts he admitted to in his pretrial statements. However, he was also accused of attempt to kill his unborn child when his former wife was pregnant. He pled not guilty to this allegation, and it was litigated at trial.

The allegation ended up being based solely on the testimony of the complainant, as the medical records, pregnancy test, and timeline did not support the claim. The complainant was cross-examined about the allegation, and her claim became even more suspect based on her answers. Even though the government had an expert forensic nurse, they did not call her to testify about this allegation, likely because the objective evidence did not support the allegation. Ultimately, the client was found not guilty of the allegation.

Had there been a conviction regarding this allegation, the client would have faced the possibility of life in prison. Thankfully, that did not happen. While this serious allegation in this military court-martial case was successfully defended, it is important to understand that every case has different facts, and success in previous cases does not guarantee success in any particular future case. No military lawyer or civilian defense lawyer, including those who specialize in military law, can guarantee the outcome of any military trial or case.

In addition to the allegation in this case, Attorney Richard V. Stevens has defended multiple military cases in which there were allegations of murder or manslaughter. This includes cases out of combat operations, in which use of lethal force was questioned. For more information about the military justice system, particularly cases alleging murder or manslaughter, see our page at

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Attorney Richard Stevens

Mr. Stevens has been handling military cases since 1995. He has defended military cases dealing with the most serious military offenses, including allegations of “war crimes,” national security cases, murder, manslaughter, homicide, rape, sexual assault, other sex related offenses, drug offenses, computer crimes (pornography), larceny, fraud, AWOL/desertion, conduct unbecoming, military academy offenses, offenses within combat zones, senior officer cases and other military specific offenses around the world. [ Attorney Bio ]