Airman to serve three months in jail for Lakenheath assault
October 4, 2006
RAF LAKENHEATH, England — A 48th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron airman was found guilty Tuesday of assault and sentenced to three months of confinement.
A panel of three officers also sentenced Airman 1st Class Jared B. Hamm to three months of hard labor without confinement, reduction to E-1 and a reprimand.
Hamm was found guilty of hitting a fellow airman over the head with a bottle of alcohol in an incident that occurred June 17.
Airman Byron Corley Jr., also of RAF Lakenheath, suffered lacerations to the head and neck as the result of the blow from the 750-milliliter bottle (less than 3/4 of a quart) of rum, which was about half full at the time, according to court testimony.
Early morning in the morning on June 17, Hamm headed to the dormitories inside Building 917 following a night of drinking at the Liberty Club on base. Hamm testified that he heard music from one of the dorm rooms and went to check it out. Eventually, he was invited into the room by an acquaintance and he sat down and mingled with other people in the room.
Later, Corley walked into the room and became aggressive with Hamm and told him to leave, according to court testimony. Hamm told the court that he was nervous because Corley got as close as a few inches from his face and seemed to be looking for trouble.
As Hamm got up from his seat, Corley raised his hand toward Hamm’s neck and Hamm smashed the thick glass bottle into Corley’s head, according to court testimony.
“I was scared and I wanted to get out of the room,” Hamm told the court.
Earlier in the trial, the acquaintance who had invited Hamm into the room testified that Corley didn’t do anything to provoke a fight.
“He was disrespectful and forceful toward Hamm, but not threatening,” the airman said.
The prosecution then went on to explain that Hamm’s actions were not self-defense, but instead an overreaction. The jury agreed with the prosecution.
Judge (Maj.) Adam Oler presided over the two-day trial.