Airman pleads guilty in pair of incidents
OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — A 25-year-old airman admitted Thursday that he entered a female servicemember’s dorm room while she and her roommate slept and stole about 15 pairs of underwear.
Airman 1st Class Timothy M. Beckling of Osan’s 51st Logistics Readiness Squadron pleaded guilty to larceny and unlawful entry in the Jan. 29 incident. He also pleaded guilty to unlawfully entering the room of another female airman last August.
But Beckling pleaded innocent Thursday to two additional charges of unlawfully entering the dorm rooms of other female airmen; a trial began late Wednesday afternoon on the contested allegations.
“Your honor, I had been drinking that night,” Beckling told Col. David Brash, the chief military judge for the Pacific Trial Judiciary, based at Yokota Air Base, Japan, after entering his guilty plea.
And in an open drawer, Beckling said, he saw underwear belonging to the female airman.
“I went to [her] room without authorization, saw the underwear, decided to take them,” Beckling told the judge.
Though he’d been drinking, Beckling said, he was of “sound mind” and still fully aware of what he was doing.
The Air Force is prosecuting Beckling under the rules for special courts-martial. Capt. Jin-hwa Frazier of Osan’s base legal office and Capt. Christopher May of Yokota’s Pacific Trial Circuit are presenting the government’s case.
Beckling chose to be tried by jury rather than by military judge alone.
Following his guilty plea Thursday, Beckling faces up to a year in jail, loss of two-thirds pay per month for up to 12 months, demotion in rank to E-1 and a bad-conduct discharge.
While also admitting Thursday that he broke into another female’s room on Aug. 23, Beckling denied entering two other rooms on Jan. 27 and Nov. 1.
Thursday’s proceedings began with an evidentiary hearing that focused on what items of evidence might be admitted or barred from the trial. Ten witnesses testified, including Air Force security agents at Osan who had questioned Beckling about alleged entries into female airmen’s rooms and his unit’s commander, first sergeant and co-workers.
At 1:40 p.m., Beckling rose to attention and entered his guilty pleas to the larceny and two unlawful entry charges.
Later, when jury members had taken their places, the prosecution and defense offered opening statements and four witnesses testified. At about 5:40 p.m., Brash recessed the court until Friday morning.