1st & 2nd Navy SEAL Acquitted on All Charges! [update]

This is a discussion on 1st & 2nd Navy SEAL Acquitted on All Charges! [update] within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; The first Navy SEAL, Petty Officer 1st Class Julio Huertas has been acquitted of all charges! It was believed that he was the one at ...

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Thread: 1st & 2nd Navy SEAL Acquitted on All Charges! [update]

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    Thumbs up 1st & 2nd Navy SEAL Acquitted on All Charges! [update]

    The first Navy SEAL, Petty Officer 1st Class Julio Huertas has been acquitted of all charges!

    It was believed that he was the one at most risk for being found guilty of anything, so this is looking good for the other two!

    No further details at this time.

    Just saw this 5 min ago on Fox n Friends!

    Keep an eye on Fox News Channel throughout the day for further details!



    Update: New York Times is reporting the jury panel deliberated less than 2 hours to reach a verdict in the court-martial.

    Quote Originally Posted by New York Times

    Navy SEAL Cleared in Iraq Abuse Case
    By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Published: April 22, 2010
    Filed at 5:40 a.m. ET

    BAGHDAD (AP) -- A U.S. military jury cleared a Navy SEAL Thursday of failing to prevent the beating of an Iraqi prisoner suspected of masterminding a 2004 attack that killed four American security contractors.

    The contractors' burned bodies were dragged through the streets and two were hanged from a bridge over the Euphrates river in the former insurgent hotbed of Fallujah, in what became a major turning point in the Iraq war.

    The trial of three SEALs, the Navy's elite special forces unit, has outraged many Americans who see it as coddling terrorists.

    Petty Officer 1st Class Julio Huertas, 28, of Blue Island, Illinois, was found not guilty by a six-man jury of charges of dereliction of duty and attempting to influence the testimony of another service member.

    The jury spent two hours deliberating the verdict.

    Huertas is the first of three SEALS to face a court-martial for charges related to the abuse incident. All three SEALs could have received only a disciplinary reprimand, but insisted on a military trial to clear their names and save their careers.

    The trial stems from an attack on four Blackwater security contractors who were driving through the city of Fallujah west of Baghdad in early 2004. The images of the bodies hanging from the bridge drove home to many the rising power of the insurgency and helped spark a bloody U.S. invasion of the city to root out the insurgents later that year.

    The Iraqi prisoner who was allegedly abused, Ahmed Hashim Abed, testified Wednesday on the opening day of the trial at the U.S. military's Camp Victory on Baghdad's western outskirts that he was beaten by U.S. troops while hooded and tied to a chair.

    Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Kevin DeMartino, who was assigned to process and transport the prisoner and is not a SEAL, testified he saw one SEAL punch the prisoner in the stomach and watched blood spurt from his mouth. Huertas and the third SEAL were in the narrow holding-room at the time of the incident, he added.

    But defense attorneys tried to cast doubt on the beating claims, showing photographs of Abed after the alleged beating in which he had a visible cut inside his lip but no obvious signs of bruising or injuries anywhere else.

    In her closing arguments, Huertas' civilian attorney Monica Lombardi pointed to inconsistencies between DeMartino's testimony and nearly every other Navy witness. She also reminded the jury of the terrorism charges against Abed, who is in Iraqi custody and has not yet been tried, saying he could not be trusted and may have inflicted wounds on himself as a way of recasting blame on American troops.

    But prosecutor Lt. Cmdr. Jason Grover said DeMartino said the SEALs were itching to abuse Abed as payback for the killings of the Blackwater guards -- two of whom were former SEALs.
    Last edited by Bark'n; April 22nd, 2010 at 07:13 AM. Reason: Updated New York Times Story
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    VIP Member Array deadeye72's Avatar
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    Great news, but he should not have been in the court to begin with.
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    Quote Originally Posted by deadeye72 View Post
    Great news, but he should not have been in the court to begin with.

    Could of, Would of, Should of... I hear ya on that, but it is what it is!

    But this case ended pretty damn quick, so on it's face, it seems the military court didn't think much of having the case before them either!

    Still, it's a good outcome! It's the right outcome! It was a bogus case from jump street!

    This will probably kill the career of the commanding officer who brought the charges in the first place. Who incidentally was not a Naval Officer. He was a U.S. Army O-5 or O-6 who was the commander of the Task Force the SEALS were attached to.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bark'n View Post
    Could of, Would of, Should of... I hear ya on that, but it is what it is!

    But this case ended pretty damn quick, so on it's face, it seems the military court didn't think much of having the case before them either!

    Still, it's a good outcome! It's the right outcome! It was a bogus case from jump street!

    This will probably kill the career of the commanding officer who brought the charges in the first place. Who incidentally was not a Naval Officer. He was a U.S. Army O-5 or O-6 who was the commander of the Task Force the SEALS were attached to.
    I hope so...it should have never come this far, and it should have never made the news.

    Glad the the 1st, and soon, the other two are back to their regular lives.
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    Distinguished Member Array kapnketel's Avatar
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    Everything I have read on the milblogs has indicated that this was BS from the get go. Good outcome, but I fear his career is blemished forever.

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    good, lets hope and pray the others are acquitted just as easily so they can all get back to taking care of business
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    Hooray!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by deadeye72 View Post
    Great news, but he should not have been in the court to begin with.
    All three SEALs could have received only a disciplinary reprimand, but insisted on a military trial...
    If that statement is true, it was not the military that tried to courtmartial them. ANY time a service member is up for an administrative disciplinary action, they (the service member) have the right to request a court martial. I know this, because as a battery commander, everytime I did an Article 15 (I think the Navy calls it a Captain's Mast), I had to have the soldier initial off that they were not requesting one.
    The reason for requesting one, is that it takes the issue from administrative to criminal and places a significantly higher burden of proof on the prosecution (with the risk of higher punishment), so someone who knows they are innocent has a good chance of exactly this SEAL's outcome. If it's handled admistratively, it's usually just one O-3 or O-5/6 (depending on the level of infraction and branch of service) who serves as judge, jury and executioner so to speak, instead of an actual Judge and Jury.

    As a Soldier, I'm glad this guy was cleared. It pisses me off when people try to second guess us, after the fact.
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    I'm glad the SEAL was cleared.

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    One down and two to go.

    If it ends the career of the Officer who filed the charges, so be it, he does not deserve to be where he is anyway.

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    Outstanding!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiram25 View Post
    One down and two to go.

    If it ends the career of the Officer who filed the charges, so be it, he does not deserve to be where he is anyway.
    Stating the obvious, that we have no way of knowing why the commanding officer brought disciplinary action against the SEALS, I think one can say, he might have worried about any fall-out from the higher up, politically correct brass, would reflect poorly on his command. That is seriously a big deal and always in the back of the mind of too many career officers wishing to one day become an O-7 or higher.

    If that's the case, then it was purely for selfish reasons and to keep his own record unblemished. A poor example of commander as far as I'm concerned, and one who is unfit to command such a highly elite, tip of the spear group of hard charging Specwar commando's such as the SEALS.

    My castigation of the commanding officer is predicated on what his motives were for bringing disciplinary action against the SEALS in the first place, knowing full well, it would result in the end of their careers.
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    Fantastic, hope they all get aquitted! They should have never had to deal with it in the first place.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSteve View Post
    If that statement is true, it was not the military that tried to courtmartial them. ANY time a service member is up for an administrative disciplinary action, they (the service member) have the right to request a court martial. I know this, because as a battery commander, everytime I did an Article 15 (I think the Navy calls it a Captain's Mast), I had to have the soldier initial off that they were not requesting one.
    The reason for requesting one, is that it takes the issue from administrative to criminal and places a significantly higher burden of proof on the prosecution (with the risk of higher punishment), so someone who knows they are innocent has a good chance of exactly this SEAL's outcome. If it's handled admistratively, it's usually just one O-3 or O-5/6 (depending on the level of infraction and branch of service) who serves as judge, jury and executioner so to speak, instead of an actual Judge and Jury.

    As a Soldier, I'm glad this guy was cleared. It pisses me off when people try to second guess us, after the fact.
    This is exactly what I expected to happen. They rightly requested the CM, for the reasons you stated above. Once the process starts it runs to conclusion.

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