Ramstein NCO gets jail term for drug use
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — An Air Force noncommissioned officer was sentenced to reduction in rank to E-1, 180 days confinement and a bad-conduct discharge Saturday after being convicted of drug use, housing fraud and other charges.
Staff Sgt. Patrick B. Schubitzke pleaded guilty to failing to report to duty on time, disobeying an order and using the illegal drug Ecstasy, Air Force spokeswoman Senior Airman Melissa Maraj said. He was found not guilty on charges of using provoking words and assaulting a detainee while he was in pretrial confinement at the Mannheim Confinement Facility, officials said. He was found guilty of stealing $40,000 worth of military housing allowance, said Capt. Jennifer Lovett, an 86th Airlift Wing spokeswoman.
The judge threw out a charge of marijuana use.
Schubitzke, 28, who was the noncommissioned officer in charge of the supply department for the Rhein-Main Air Base Fire Station, has been jailed in Mannheim since June 13. Charges against him date back to June, when he is accused of disobeying an order to stay at the base fire station.
At Friday’s hearing, defense attorney Capt. Jason Lindbloom argued that he was unsure Schubitzke was mentally competent to stand the entire trial. During his arraignment on Oct. 6, Schubitzke had what was described as a panic attack and began uncontrollably sobbing.
An Air Force clinical psychologist testified that Schubitzke suffers from depression and an anxiety disorder, which might be exasperated by the side effects from a medication he is taking for back pain.
However, Air Force Judge (Maj.) Adam Oler ruled that Schubitzke was stable enough to stand trial based on the findings of two “sanity” boards, which both found the staff sergeant mentally competent for the court-martial.