1st ID soldier is cleared in auto theft, adultery case
WüRZBURG, Germany — A court-martial panel has cleared a 1st Infantry Division rear-detachment soldier on charges he had sex with the wife of one deployed soldier and stole the car of another while his unit served in Iraq last year.
The panel Tuesday acquitted Staff Sgt. Terry Lawrence, 43, of the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, on charges of adultery, auto theft, forgery, indecent assault and communicating a threat, said Maj. Todd Federici, chief of criminal law for the division’s staff judge advocate.
According to a court document, prosecutors had alleged that Lawrence, a 1-18 Infantry Family Readiness Group liaison, had seized a 1991 BMW that Pfc. Bryan W. Adams had left behind at Conn Barracks in Schweinfurt, when the 1-18 Infantry had deployed to Iraq in February 2004. He then allegedly sold the car to an off-base junk dealer for 25 euros, forging Adams’ signature.
Lawrence’s civilian attorney, David Court, argued that Lawrence was acting consistently with aggressive policies of the Schweinfurt-based 280th Base Support Battalion then in place to quickly remove deployed soldiers’ vehicles that had not been properly stored, sold or junked.
Court also challenged the truthfulness of both Adams and Pvt. Tyler A. Hall, who claimed Lawrence knew that Adams had left Hall with power of attorney over the car. Hall also had claimed Lawrence had threateningly told him to “keep your mouth shut” when Adams learned his car had been junked.
Prosecutors also charged that Lawrence had had sex with a married woman in May 2004 while her husband was serving in Iraq, and that he had tried to force her into oral sex.
Court argued that she had made up the charge because she believed Lawrence told her husband about affairs she allegedly had been having while he was in Iraq.
A panel of three officers and five senior enlisted soldiers deliberated for about one hour before acquitting Lawrence on all counts, Court said.