The Army Blotter: Birther Col. would deploy, rampage vet pleads innocent, and Vietnam vet let sick wife die

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  • Col. Terry Lakin, who refused to deploy over the president’s birth certificate, now says he would deploy. Lakin pleaded guilty to disobeying orders and could face more than three years for missing movement, the other charge he’s facing at a Fort Meade court martial. Lakin told the jury he wants to continue to serve. “I don’t want it to end this way,” he said. [via Stars and Stripes]
  • An Iraq war vet accused of going on a suicidal rampage in North Dakota has pleaded not guilty to four charges. Brock Savelkoul, 28, led police on a high-speed chase and threatened a convenience store customer with guns. Savelkoul, medically discharged from the Army last year with a shrapnel leg wound, PTSD and TBI, left a suicide note for his family, grabbed his guns and his Purple Heart, drove to a convenience store and yelled, “Would you like to die today?” In a court hearing, he appeared pale and worried, and said he was on several medications. [via Bismark Tribune]
  • An Ohio Vietnam vet convicted of negligent homicide for failing to care for his sickly wife was ordered to get psychiatric treatment. Darrell White, 65, was arrested after his 57-year-old arthritis-stricken wife was found dead with maggots and bedsores on her. White, said the prosecutor, “is one of the first defendants in my 30 years prosecuting that I actually felt sorry for … The whole thing is pitiful.” [via Associated Press/Washington Post]
  • Fort Carson soldier Thomas Wolly was convicted of criminally negligent homicide in the fatal shooting of a 19-year-old Colorado Springs woman. Defense attorneys said Wolly, formerly of the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment and a double Purple Heart recipient, pulled the gun to protect the apartment from a neighbor. When he attempted to uncock the gun, it slipped and fired, hitting the woman in the neck. [via the Colorado Springs Gazette and KKTV]
  • Fort Stewart Spc. Alante L. Whiting, 22, fatally stabbed near his barracks may have been “the aggressor” in a domestic fight. No one has been arrested or charged in Whiting’s death, but the military is still investigating. [via WAGA-TV]
  • A Michigan judge has dismissed embezzlement charges against Thomas A. Mengesha, a former attorney and a National Guard reservist, accused of stealing more than $200,000 from a client. Prosecutors have alleged that Mengesha used some of the money to remodel his home and put the client on his phone’s speed dial under “retirement.” They have promised to renew the case.[via Flint Journal]
  • A court program in Washington State for drug-addicted veterans graduated its first vet: Allan Mikesell, who served in the Army from 1973-79. “There was goodness in here; I just couldn’t find it,” said Mikesell as he touched his chest. “This helped me find it.” [via News-Tribune]
  • Former Fort Campbell soldier Joshua Ryan Starner, 22, charged in the rape and murder of a toddler is going to trial in January. [via Leaf-Chronicle]
  • Former Fort Campbell soldier Jonathan Morgan Harris, 25, was sentenced to 5 1/2 months in federal prison for stealing a government-owned 2002 four-door Chevrolet Blazer. [via Leaf-Chronicle]
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