What an absolute mess this CID investigation of the King Club brawl in Itaewon has turned into:
The court-martial of a military policeman accused of participating in a street brawl ended last week in a rare mistrial after six key witness statements made in the hours after the melee were discovered by attorneys. The missing statements, made to military police at U.S. Army Garrison-Yongsan on Feb. 1, were the initial recorded statements from witnesses to the early-morning fight in front of Itaewon’s popular King Club, attorneys said during the court-martial.
One soldier was stabbed in the chest and another was severely beaten in the incident. Defense attorneys said the newly surfaced statements could pave the way for the five soldiers previously convicted of participating in the fight to appeal their sentences. Attorneys didn’t learn that the statements existed until Wednesday, near the end of the court-martial for Joyner’s identical twin, Spc. Markelle Joyner, who was charged with assault and making a false official statement.
Prosecutors realized that they were missing the statements during a court recess, as they questioned one witness about a second witness who might have perjured himself during testimony. CID then turned over the six statements within hours.
It’s unclear what happened to the statements after they were made to MPs and when they were given to CID. Government prosecutors said in court that they never received them, despite requesting case files from CID and visiting CID headquarters multiple times in the eight months since the fight.
“There are a lot of things that fall through the cracks over there [at CID],” said Michael Waddington, who represented Sgt. Markease Joyner, convicted Monday for hitting the two soldiers injured during the fight.
CID spokesman Christopher Grey said the statements made at the MP station were always part of the case file. Attorneys for the prosecution and defense had full access to the case file, and “we cannot explain why they were unaware of those statements.” [Stars & Stripes]
Read the rest of the article at the link, but as the article states it was either intentional or incompetence that the CID didn’t hand over all the sworn statements to the defense. I often hear that CID doesn’t bother investigating blatant blackmarketing going on in Korea because they have more important things to do like investigate cases like this, and yet one guy accused of the attempted murder was found not guilty, this case had a mistrial, and the other guys convicted may be able to appeal their light sentences.
Readers may remember that this brawl is what led to General Walter Sharp implementing the mandatory weekend training to address indiscipline issues within the ranks on the peninsula.