Camp Humphreys soldier sentenced to hard labor for punching incident
November 22, 2007
CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea — A soldier at Camp Humphreys was sentenced Tuesday to 45 days hard labor without jail after a jury found him guilty of punching another soldier in the face.
But the jury acquitted him of trying to thwart an investigation into an alleged beating of a soldier in an earlier incident.
Pvt. Rolando Maitland, 22, of the 520th Maintenance Company had been charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice, obstruction of justice, making a false official statement, and assault. He had pleaded not guilty to all.
The case was heard by military judge Col. Donna M. Wright. The jury of two officers and three senior noncommissioned officers found Maitland guilty of assaulting Pvt. Jeremy Smith.
Both men are in the same company, and the incident occurred in their barracks.
According to testimony, Maitland punched Smith in the face Nov. 4 after Smith tried to grab chips Maitland was snacking on, and had waved his hands in Maitland’s face.
Smith testified he’d only been kidding, but that Maitland at one point warned him he’d punch him in the mouth if he didn’t stop.
Smith continued, and Maitland punched him three times — at least once in the mouth and once to the eye, according to testimony.
The charges Maitland was acquitted of stemmed from a barracks incident in July in which a soldier was allegedly beaten into unconsciousness during a dispute with a soldier who was a friend of Maitland.
Prosecutors had accused him of helping carry the unconscious soldier outside the building, and of phoning the military police and leading them to think the soldier had attempted suicide.
Prosecuting Maitland were Capt. Scott Hughes and Capt. Richard E. Gorini.
His defense lawyer was Capt. Brian S. Tomasovic.