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Department of the Army

Older Cases Here

Military defense counsel representation in courts-martial and appeals: active duty into civilian practice.

Notable cases:

  • 1989: represented the Executive Officer, USS IOWA (BB-61), during the investigation after the turret explosion.
  • 0-8 initially investigated for very serious sexual assault offenses. Received Secretarial punitive letter, 30 days arrest in quarters, and later was retired at a reduced rank.
  • 0-7 investigated for Joint Ethics Regulation issues.
  • 0-6 commanding officer charged with negligent grounding of a vessel.
  • Commodore charged with negligence resulting in death and injuries during a Close-In-Weapons System exercise.
  • United States v. Army E-6 (JTF Guantanamo Bay, Cuba): Orders violation and misconduct toward detainee. Acquittal by Members at trial.
  • The 2010 USDB Leavenworth Riot: United States v. Army E-1. Client one of 13 accused of mutiny, kidnapping, multiple assaults, and property damage at the Maximum SHU, USDB, Leavenworth. Prosecution took the position that he started the mutiny and was a ringleader. Plead not guilty to all charges. Found not guilty of kidnapping and an assault. Sentenced to five years confinement. Military judge gave nine months Article 13 credit. In addition, judge took into account other practices post mutiny that were not Article 13, but were "almost" UCI, and gave two years confinement less than he would of. Another inmate who helped start the mutiny and assaults plead guilty to all charges. He was sentenced to 15 years confinement, which was reduced to eight years with a PTA.
  • United States v. Army O-3 (Iraq): EPW and assault issues. Dismissed with LOR, after Art. 32 report.

Other cases, mainly with a positive result:

  • Army O - 3 - Gen. Off. Article 15 hearing. Charge dismissed at hearing.
  • Army Nat'l Guard E - 8 - Gen. Off. Article 15. Charge dismissed at hearing.
  • Navy O-3E found guilty at NJP of DWI and processed for administrative separation based on misconduct. We did what neither the command nor the military defense counsel had done--consulted with an expert. The expert's review showed that the .BAC, reported as 0.145 should have been reported as 0.0145--yes a typo. Based on that "new" evidence, the Board found NO misconduct.
  • Navy O-6, suspected of communicating threats, email stalking, and orders violations. Non-punitive letter of reprimand and retired in grade.
  • USMC O-5 ordered to appear before a retirement grade determination board based on allegations of spouse abuse. Retired in current grade.
  • United States v. O-6. Case began as a serious sexual assault allegation. Resolved as an Article 15 for conduct unbecoming.
  • Client arrested for public indecency; client makes formal apology (An apology is considered a virtue in Japan. Apologies show that a person takes responsibility and avoids blaming others. When one apologizes and shows one's remorse, the Japanese are more willing to forgive); Japanese Prosecution suspended for sailor accused of nudity in a cafe (and jurisdiction ceded to the U.S. under the SOFA). The case was resolved at Captain's Mast (Article. 15).
  • United States v. Army E-3. Accused of raping spouse on four occasions, twice with a weapon; raping a girlfriend twice; multiple assaults, aggravated assaults, and threats against a spouse; multiple assaults and weapon-related threats against a second girlfriend; obstruction of justice. Found guilty of several assaults and threats on spouse and the second girlfriend, not guilty of all rapes, and most of the assaults. Sentenced to 18 months confinement and a bad conduct discharge.
  • United States v. Army E-4: Accused of assaulting a female Soldier and accused of sexually assaulting another female Soldier. After a contested judge alone trial - found not guilty of the charges.
  • United States v. Army E-5 (update). Client initially accused of rape and sexual assaults on a military spouse and an indecent act on a Soldier. After Article 32, and shortly before trial the complaining witnesses to the rape came forward to "tell the truth," and confessed they'd lied - there was no rape.
  • United States v. Army E-7. Initially convicted of BAH fraud in excess of $132K and associated charges; sentenced to a BCD and six months confinement. New trial ordered by the appeals court based on newly discovered evidence. At new trial convicted of attempted fraud in excess of $500.00; sentenced to RIR to E-6, $1000.00 forfeiture per month for two months.
  • United States v. Velez. This case required extensive assistance from a forensic crime scene perspective as well as a forensic pyschologist and a forensic psychiatrist. The R.C.M. 706 board found a "brief psychotic episode" but not major. The defense experts found a major mental defect. However, neither rose to the level of an affirmative defense of insanity on the charges to which Velez plead guilty to. The prosecution dismissed a premeditated murder charge. In this case the defense had made a PTA offer of 20 years in February 2010, and an offer of 25 years in June of 2010 - both of which were rejected. The prosecution came to the defense in early 2011 with a request for an offer of 28 years.
  • United States v. Air Force E-5: Rape. In this case we were able to mount an aggressive defense at the Article 32, UCMJ, hearing. Subsequently all charges were dismissed.
  • United States v. Coast Guard E-3: Allegations of aggravated sexual assault and two other sexual assaults on one complaining witness (CW) and sexual assault on another CW. Contested enlisted members.
  • United States v. Army E-5: This was the last of seven related cases at Fort Bragg. The group was initially charged with voluntary manslaughter under Article 119, UCMJ. Here the client ultimately plead guilty at SPCM to an assault and battery. He was sentenced to a one paygrade reduction and 30 days hard labor without confinement. Here is an interesting article about one of the co-accused, United States v. Boyle, which gives a flavor of the overall case. (It was announced in late September that Boyle's sentence was reduced.)
  • United States v. Army E-8: This was an Army TCS Task Force/TDY prosecution. After the Article 32, UCMJ, investigation charges were ultimately referred to a BCD special court-martial. Pretrial litigation resulted in some charges being merged on multiplicity grounds, and some limits being placed on the prosecution evidence. During trial the judge deferred ruling on a R.C.M. 917 motion to dismiss after the prosecution rested. After the Members entered findings the military judge then took up the issue of which charges if any should be dismissed. Using the analysis from United States v. Griffith, 27 M.J. 42 (C.M.A. 1988), the military judge dismissed a substantial portion of the charges: a part of a conspiracy charge, a false official statement charge, the two frauds against the government charges, and reduced the alleged larceny from over $500.00 to "some amount." The Members understandably seemed a little shocked and confused. Ultimately they gave a sentence of 90 days confinement, reduction to E-6, and forfeitures of pay for six months. There was no BCD and no fine. {Update] This 24 year veteran was allowed to retire.
  • United States v. Navy E-6: Based on our quick reaction to the report of investigation client was well prepared with an outline and defense to charges of sexual harassment and sexual assault made by a subordinate's wife. Client was well prepared to present his case to the DRB who recommended no action and XOI that recommended no action. Case was dismissed without any adverse action by CO after reviewing the report of investigation and the client's well-presented outline and package regarding his defense.
  • United States v. Army E-3: Rape, threat to kill commander, theft of drugs, damage to government property, and multiple 92′s. Sentence limited to 30 months. In this case there were several confessions; yet it took the members almost 13 hours to decide the findings, and another 7 hours to decide sentence. This is a case where - once again - CID "inadvertently" used the "I know he was lying" ploy at trial; and also the civilian Detective used the word "polygraph." It's amazing how often experienced investigators inadvertently blurt out that "he was lying, etc.
  • United States v. USN E-3: Accused of intent to damage an MH53E #2EAPS/#2engine with FOD (a large rock) and endanger the lives of the crew - sentenced to 9 months confinement at a special court-martial.
  • United States v. Army O-2 (Baghdad): Theft and misuse of prescription medications, theft, dereliction.
  • United States v. Army WO: Murder of Iraqi military officer.
  • United States v. Army E-7 (Iraq): Murder, assault, false official statements.
  • United States v. Army O-4: Fraud of $27,000.00 in flight pay; dismissed after Art. 32.

This list was much longer, but over the years I have removed many items because they duplicate successes in similar cases to those above.

Client Reviews
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Mr. Cave saved my military retirement! His promise to me from day one was that he would fight as hard as he could he right the wring that had been done to me. And he did! I am so very thankful and grateful to him. He genuinely cared about me and made my case his priority. He used all his experience and knowledge to put forth a good defense. I am very pleased with him and will recommend him to anyone in need of an attorney. Crystal