Soldier acquitted of charges stemming from fight at bar in Germany
WüRZBURG, Germany — A court-martial panel acquitted a Schweinfurt-based soldier Wednesday on charges of badly injuring another soldier in a barroom brawl last January.
Pfc. Richard Maynes, 21, of the 1st Infantry Division’s 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment had been accused of swinging a beer glass that slashed the face of Pfc. Chad Pemberton of the 1st Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment and left a deep, 4-inch scar on his left cheek. Prosecutors had alleged the cut permanently affected Pemberton’s ability to speak.
The statements of Maynes, Pemberton and several eyewitnesses to what happened in the Tabasco’s bar in Schweinfurt on the night of Jan. 24 varied widely. Both men said at first they were bystanders to the brawl.
Pemberton had claimed he was trying to break up the fight and aid an unconscious woman when Maynes struck him with the beer glass.
“He swung a glass at the guy,” said Capt. Matthew Brown, co-prosecutor in the case. “It’s reasonable to infer that he intended to commit harm.”
Maynes, though, said he lashed out with the glass he was holding only when Pemberton grabbed him by the throat.
“Pfc. Maynes did what any reasonable person would have done: He swung the beer glass he was holding,” said his attorney, Capt. Ian Midgley. “His intent wasn’t to injure Pemberton. It was to break free of his grip.”
After hearing testimony Tuesday, the jury of five officers and three senior noncommissioned officers deliberated for two hours Wednesday morning before delivering its verdict.
If convicted, Maynes could have faced a prison term of up to seven years.