An officer assigned to the blue crew of the ballistic-missile submarine Nebraska is headed to court-martial on stalking and assault charges. (Navy)

 

A Navy submarine officer faces a court-martial trial after he was charged with a long sheet of crimes allegedly committed in the Washington, D.C. area.

Lt. Cmdr. Joshua Q. McCright, 38, part of the blue crew assigned to the ballistic-missile submarine Nebraska in Washington state, was arraigned earlier this month at Naval Base Kitsap on charges involving housebreaking, unlawful entry and assault consummated by a battery charges for allegedly grabbing, pinning and restraining a woman several times in 2016 and 2017, according to charge sheets released to Navy Times.

Over a roughly two-year span in and around the nation’s capital, McCright planted a GPS tracking device on a woman’s vehicle and on the vehicle of her unnamed friend, military prosecutors say.

McCright is accused of hiring a private investigator to “gather information about men she was dating or had dated” from mid-2016 to early 2018, according to his charge sheets.

McCright also allegedly trailed a woman to various residences and D.C. restaurants and climbed up “to a vantage point to video record her kissing” another man inside his fourth-floor apartment, the records indicate.

Investigators also suspect McCright accessed a woman’s computer without her knowledge and deleted emails from her account.

Her name was redacted in the charge sheets provided to Navy Times and it remains unclear if each specification is tied to the same alleged victim or multiple women.

Originally from Wisconsin, McCright was a Naval Reactors student at the Washington Navy Yard when some of the alleged crimes took place, according to his service record.

Attempts to reach McCright for this story were not successful and his defense attorneys did not respond to a request for comment submitted through Navy officials.

A submarine warfare officer, McCright was commissioned in 2003 and pinned on his current rank in 2012.

He joined the Nebraska in 2017.

 

 

 

By JULIE WATSON | Associated Press | Published: January 22, 2019

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SAN DIEGO — The Navy officer who supervised a SEAL accused of fatally stabbing an Islamic State prisoner in Iraq in 2017 was charged Tuesday with various offenses tied to the case, including allegations he conducted the SEAL’s re-enlistment ceremony next to the corpse and encouraged enlisted personnel to pose for photos with the body.

The court martial for Lt. Jacob Portier began with the arraignment Tuesday at the Navy base in San Diego. Portier also is accused of failing to report a war crime, destroying evidence and impeding the investigation of Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher.

Portier’s attorney, Jay Sullivan, said Portier will plead not guilty to all the charges at a later date, which is allowed under military court rules. Both sides agreed to meet again next week to discuss restrictions on information, photos and video from the investigation and whether anything should be classified or kept from the public during the rare trial of an elite special warfare operator.

Sullivan said he plans to object to a protective order in place because it has limited his ability to review the investigation’s documents and interview witnesses about statements that have been made, though he believes there may be things that should be kept from the public and discussed in closed session during the trial.

Sullivan said Portier — who was the officer in charge of Gallagher’s platoon during the deployment — is innocent. Sullivan believes it will come out that the Islamic State fighter was killed in combat operations and Portier was not there.

He also said the re-enlistment ceremony was done legally in a war zone where there may have been other casualties nearby.

“I can tell you he certainly never ordered anybody to appear in any photos with a dead ISIS fighter,” Sullivan said after the arraignment. “I can tell you that a re-enlistment ceremony was done on the battlefield and for a Navy SEAL nothing could be more proud and honorable than re-enlisting to serve your country on the battlefield.”

Gallagher pleaded not guilty earlier this month to charges of premediated murder and other offenses, including opening fire on crowds of Iraqi civilians, and shooting a female and a male in separate incidents.

Navy prosecutors have painted a picture of a decorated SEAL going off the rails on his eighth deployment, indiscriminately shooting at Iraqi civilians and stabbing to death a captured Islamic State fighter estimated to be 15 years old. They say he also posed with the corpse, including at his re-enlistment ceremony.

His lawyers have said the allegations were made by disgruntled SEALs out to get Gallagher because he was a demanding platoon leader.

Portier’s lawyer said the Naval SEALs have had “extraordinary success” in Iraq. He is concerned the Navy’s prosecution of the case in a public court martial could undermine that, hurt morale and reveal information about the secretive force. He wants the State Department to intervene on behalf of national security. He believes it’s important to determine whether parts of the case, such as operations’ details, tactics, etc., should be only discussed in closed sessions.

“I believe the investigation should be classified,” Sullivan said after the arraignment. “The operations that we do over there is protecting our national security, and parading these warfighters on the stage, I think it puts them at risk and our mission over there at risk.”

Gallagher, who has been jailed since his arrest Sept. 11, will stand trial Feb. 19.

Airman 1st Class Isiaah Edwards has been found guilty of the murder of his roommate while in Guam. (Tassanee Vejpongsa/AP)

An airman from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, has been found guilty in the murder of his roommate while they both were deployed to Guam, the Shreveport Times reported Thursday.

Airman 1st Class Isaiah Edwards was convicted in the murder of his 20-year-old roommate, Airman 1st Class Bradley Hale, who had been stabbed to death early in the morning on March 27, 2018, in their shared living quarters at Andersen Air Force Base, the Times reported.

Edwards was convicted by a seven-member Air Force panel, which heard the case in the federal district court in Shreveport.

The two airmen were both assigned to the 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron as electronic warfare journeymen, working on B-52s.

Airman 1st Class Bradley Hale was killed while on a deployment to Guam in March 2018. His roommate, A1C Isaiah Edwards was found guilty Thursday of unpremeditated murder during a court-martial. (Air Force)

Airman 1st Class Bradley Hale was killed while on a deployment to Guam in March 2018. His roommate, A1C Isaiah Edwards was found guilty Thursday of unpremeditated murder during a court-martial. (Air Force)

Edwards testified Monday during his court-martial that he killed Hale in self-defense after a fight broke out between the two airmen in their room. The fight escalated, he said, after Hale grabbed Edwards’ knife.

Afraid that Hale would kill him, Edwards testified that wrestled the knife away from Hale and stabbed him in the neck three times.

Hale, of Montgomery County, Texas, also sustained cuts on his hand consistent with defensive wounds.

Edwards was ultimately charged with unpremeditated murder. Jurors could also have considered lesser offenses of voluntary manslaughter and aggravated assault, according to the newspaper. His sentencing was expected Friday.

Hale joined the Air Force in 2016.

“They didn’t choose to be together,” his father, Rodney Hale, told the Shreveport Times after the Air Force charged Edwards with murder. “The Air Force put them together.”

 

 

 

Lt. Col. Keithen Washington, in a November 2013 photo taken during his tenure as commander of the 86th Force Support Squadron, is being court-martialed on charges of sexual assault and aggravated assault. Some of the alleged assault incidents took place while Washington was commander of the 86th. (SrA Jonathan Stefanko/Air Force)

Opening statements were heard Tuesday as the court-martial of Lt. Col. Keithen Washington resumed at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.

Washington is accused of sexually assaulting a civilian woman with whom he was in a relationship, and repeatedly hitting her in 2014 and 2015. Washington was commander of the 86th Force Support Squadron at Ramstein Air Base in Germany from July 2012 to August 2014, when two of the alleged non-sexual assaults took place.

According to his charge sheet, Washington faces one specification of a sexual assault charge in violation of Article 12 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. He is accused of digitally penetrating the woman without her consent “with an intent to abuse, humiliate or degrade” her by causing her bodily harm, the charge sheet said. That offense allegedly took place in or near Philadelphia between June 28, 2015, and July 2, 2015.

Washington also faces five specifications of assault in violation of Article 128 of the UCMJ. The charge sheet said Washington allegedly kicked the woman in the leg in either March or April 2014, and hit her in the forehead with a cell phone at some point in June 2014. Both alleged assaults took place in Germany.

Throughout February 2015, Washington allegedly kicked the woman on multiple occasions, struck her in the face with his hand on multiple occasions, and struck her in the hand and stomach with his fist, the charge sheet said. Those three alleged assaults took place in San Antonio.

Washington’s court-martial originally began at Andrews last October, but the judge delayed the hearing to address a scheduling issue, Lt. Col. Darrick Lee, spokesman for Air Force District Washington at Andrews, said at the time. Lee confirmed Wednesday the court-martial has resumed.

Washington was moved to serve as deputy chief of assignment policy for the joint officer branch at Air Force headquarters in the Pentagon last May, three months after charges were preferred against him.

 

 

An airman at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam was found dead early March 27, 2018. (File)

Airman 1st Class Isaiah Edwards testified at his court-martial Monday that he killed his roommate, A1C Bradley Hale, after Hale grabbed a knife during a fight, the Shreveport Times reported.

Edwards said a fight broke out between he and Hale in their room at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, early in the morning of March 27 last year, the newspaper reported Monday. Edwards testified that the fight escalated and Hale grabbed Edwards’ knife. Edwards said he was afraid Hale would kill him, took the knife from him, and stabbed him in the neck three times. Hale also sustained cuts on his hand consistent with defensive wounds.

Other airmen who worked with Edwards testified Friday that he repeatedly brought nunchucks to work, and sometimes practiced with them, the Times reported, though nobody saw him threaten anyone with them.

Airman 1st Class Bradley Hale was stabbed to death while on a deployment to Guam in March 2018. His roommate, A1C Isiaah Edwards has pleaded innocent, saying he killed Hale in self-defense. (Air Force)

Airman 1st Class Bradley Hale was stabbed to death while on a deployment to Guam in March 2018. His roommate, A1C Isiaah Edwards has pleaded innocent, saying he killed Hale in self-defense. (Air Force)

Colleagues also testified that about a month and a half before the killing, Edwards, Hale and other airmen engaged in a conversation about whether they could kill someone, the Times reported. Edwards reportedly said he could, the airmen testified, though those kinds of hypothetical conversations regularly took place between the airmen during slow periods.