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Pre-trial hearing for Two Fort Campbell Soldiers concludes

 

Fort Campbell KY - 101st Airborne DivisionFort Campbell, KY – The pre-trial hearing in the cases of two 101st Airborne Division Soldiers who have been charged in the disappearance and death of Pfc. Shadow McClaine concluded April 11th on Fort Campbell after two days of proceedings.

Pursuant to Article 32 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and Rules for Courts-Martial (RCM) 405, the purpose of the Article 32 preliminary hearing for the cases against Sgt. Jamal Williams-McCray and Spc. Charles Robinson was to:

(L to R) Sgt. Jamal Williams-McCray and Spc. Charles Robinson.

(L to R) Sgt. Jamal Williams-McCray and Spc. Charles Robinson.

Hearings Purpose

  • Determine if there is probable cause to believe an offense has been committed.
  • Determine if the accused committed the offense.
  • Determine if the convening authority has court-martial jurisdiction over the offense and the accused.
  • Determine if the form of charges is correct.
  • Make a recommendation as to the disposition that should be made of the case.

The hearing took place at the Fort Campbell courthouse where U.S. Army Reserve officer and Military Judge, Lt. Col. James Ewing, served as the preliminary hearing officer.  Over the two days he reviewed evidence brought forth by the defense and the government in the case.  

Williams-McCray is charged with Article 81 (Conspiracy to commit the charges of kidnapping and murder), Article 118 (Premeditated Murder), Article 120 (Rape), Article 128 (Aggravated Assault), Article 134 (Kidnapping), and Article 134 (Obstruction of Justice).

Robinson is charged with Article 81 (Conspiracy to commit the charges of kidnapping and murder), Article 118 (Premeditated Murder), Article 134 (Kidnapping) and Article 134 (Obstruction of Justice).

The first day of proceedings ended with the preliminary hearing officer directing the government to provide copies of evidence to the defense which included: audio tapes of telephone calls made by Robinson while confined in the Montgomery County Jail, video-taped interviews of Williams-McCray conducted by Army CID agents, and surveillance footage from a parking lot where Shadow McClaine’s vehicle was discovered.

The defense also made a motion for a continuance requesting that the hearing remain open until the DNA test results for alleged blood and hair found in Robinson’s vehicle, among other items, was completed, as well as the medical examiner’s report from Shadow McClain’s autopsy.  The continuance was denied by the Preliminary Hearing Officer at the end of the second day of the proceedings.  

The lead defense counsel for Williams-McCray, Maj. Jason Marquez, and the lead defense counsel for Robinson, Mr. Ernesto Gapasin, argued the case was still in the middle of its investigation and factual evidence to charge their clients with murder was still incomplete or insufficient.   

While, the government counsel, Maj. Rebecca Farrell, recommended to Lt. Col. Ewing that there was indeed sufficient evidence to continue with the General Courts Martial.

At the conclusion of the Article 32 hearing and closing remarks, Lt. Col. Ewing stated that he would review all evidence and the transcript before making his recommendation to Maj. Gen. Andrew Poppas, Commanding General for the 101st Airborne Division and Fort Campbell.


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