The Mayer Law Blog

Bad Idea Files: Video Evidence

Posted January 14th, 2014 in Courts-Martial, Military Law

Here is a cautionary tale that most military attorneys would say stands for several basic principles.

First, don’t make statements to others about your wrongdoing.

Second, don’t make up a lie about your wrongdoing.

Third, you especially should not lie about your military service–especially claiming combat service that you do not have.

Fourth, you should not have your statements and lies recorded by local news media.

Such lessons can be learned from the actions of an individual stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. As a result of his actions, this individual was apprehended and now faced court-martial. With the video, the number of charges that can be levied against him increased exponentially. Sure, he was facing punishment for the 7-8 year unauthorized absence, but he now faces several more charges because of his false statements and statements that can be used to suggest he intended to remain away from the military permanently.

In short, you have a right to remain silent. Use it. Any military lawyer would tell you the same.

Via The News Tribune in Tacoma:

A one-time Fort Lewis soldier who trumped up his military experience in a TV interview last year is facing time in prison on charges that he deserted his unit and falsely claimed to be a combat veteran.

Kevin Shakely of Sacramento, Calif., allegedly evaded law enforcement agencies for seven years, once reportedly slipping through their grasp at SeaTac Airport.

When Army police started raising pressure on him in August, Shakely, 28, contacted Sacramento’s KTXL Fox 40 News and claimed he was an honorably discharged Iraq and Afghanistan veteran being harassed by the Army.

“This is not how you treat somebody that went through what I had to go through and made the sacrifices I had to make,” he told KTXL.

Shakely in fact spent less than six months in uniform before deserting. Army records show he completed his initial training and spent just six days at his first duty station – Fort Lewis, before its reorganization as Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

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