By Jack Minor
Several witnesses in the court-martial of former Greeley resident Lt.Col. Lakin, admitted he was never ordered to board a US Airways flight as alleged in the charges against him.
After more than a year of attempting to resolve questions he had over President Obama’s eligibility to be president, Lakin felt he had no choice but to disobey orders until the issue was resolved. In March, Lakin was ordered to Ft. Campbell, Kentucky to prepare for a tour in Afghanistan. Lakin did not arrive at Ft Campbell.
As a result he was charged with violating Articles 87, missing a movement aboard US Airways flight 1123 and Article 92, failure to obey a lawful order on April 22. Tuesday morning Lakin pleaded guilty to violating Article 92.
As the trial began, the hearing room was filled with Lakin’s family and supporters. During the initial phase the judge had Lakin agree multiple times that the order was lawful and that he had disobeyed them. Lakin’s lawyer, retired Marine Corps Col, Neil Puckett explained that Lakin was given counsel by a previous lawyer to disobey the orders.
The judge also questioned a letter Lakin sent to President Obama, in which he indicated that his orders as well as others could possibly be illegal. Puckett pointed out this possibility was the dilemma Lakin felt regarding the decision he ultimately had to make. Throughout the proceeding Lakin had a very humble spirit regarding the charges.
Lt. Commander Kirchner, who currently has an eligibility case before the Supreme Court, said “the trial is a total corruption of the Constitution.”
Following the acceptance of the Article 92 guilty plea, selection began on the members of the panel who would decide Lakin’s guilt on the other charge. Following lunch, the prosecution began its case calling several witnesses who testified as to the validity of the orders given to Lakin.
During his opening arguments, Puckett pointed out that although the charge was missing the movement of US Airways flight 1123, nowhere in his orders did it say Lakin was required to take a flight to his destination. Puckett went on to say the orders actually gave Lakin a choice as to his method of travel. During cross examination, every prosecution witness admitted that Lakin’s orders did not contain a requirement to fly on US Airways flight 1123.
At times the prosecution seemed unsure of themselves. At one point prosecutor Capt. Jonathon Kobrinski asked Lt. Col. William Judd a question regarding whether Lakin had met with his commander, Puckett objected. After sustaining the objection Kobrinski appeared unsure how to respond. This prompted Judge Denise Lind to prompt the prosecutor “you can ask him if he complied with the memo.”
Lt. Col. Gordon Roberts testified that Lakin had not complied with on order to meet with him on March 31 but instead met the next day. Puckett asked Roberts his reasons for wanting to meet with Lakin. Roberts testified that upon hearing of Lakin’s refusal to deploy he was concerned as the action was out of character for Lakin who had an exemplary record. Roberts also indicated he wished to ensure that Lakin understood the consequences of his actions. Roberts confirmed that he accomplished every goal he wished to accomplish for the meeting. Puckett also said this appeared to bolster claims that Lakin reached the decision not to deploy only after much soul searching and after he felt all other avenues to resolve his issue had been exhausted.