NCO's temper outburst leads to jail time, demotion
A North Carolina National Guardsman will be demoted and jailed for 30 days in connection with a temper outburst while on duty in Iraq, said Capt. Jonathan Larcomb, chief of criminal law for the 1st Infantry Division’s staff judge advocate.
The charges stemmed from a March 24 incident at Forward Operating Base Cobra, north of Baghdad. Sgt. 1st Class Stanley Hopkins, 46, the 30th Brigade Combat Team’s Task Force 252 was roused from his sleep at the request of his commanding officer, Capt. Robert Steele, and asked to report to the unit’s command post to discuss a force-protection issue, Larcomb said in an e-mail from Iraq.
Before and during the time he was in the command post, Hopkins swore at and insulted Steele. When Steele said that the two of them should discuss the matter outside, Larcomb said, Hopkins allegedly pulled the charging handle on his rifle and grabbed a magazine of ammunition from his vest but was restrained by another soldier.
Hopkins also was accused of showing two soldiers M-16 bullets with the names of Steele and another officer on them the next day, Larcomb said, and of later asking another soldier to falsify his statement about the original incident.
At a special court-martial Monday in Tikrit, Hopkins pleaded guilty to three counts of disrespect of a commissioned officer. Col. James Pohl found him guilty of obstruction of justice and acquitted him of assault on a superior officer, Larcomb said. Pohl ordered him jailed for 30 days and reduced in rank to E-4.