Two soldiers from 1st AD plead not guilty in Lamebear killing
MANNHEIM, Germany — Two 1st Armored Division soldiers entered not guilty pleas to all charges during their arraignment for the November 2002 beating death of fellow soldier Pfc. Clint C. Lamebear.
At their arraignments Thursday at Taylor Barracks in Mannheim, Col. Stephen R. Henley, presiding judge, 5th Judicial Circuit, set separate trial dates for Pfc. Jonathan Schroeder, 22, and Pfc. Andrew Humiston, 23.
Henley scheduled Schroeder’s court-martial for July 8-11 and Humiston’s for July 14-17.
Locations for the courts-martial are to be determined, Henley said.
Both Schroeder and Humiston selected the option of having one-third enlisted soldiers on their juries. Such juries must have at least five members, but no more than 12. Other options would have been a single trial judge hearing their cases, or juries with officers only.
Though the trials will be separate, both face identical charges: conspiracy to rob, felony murder, robbery and obstruction of justice.
Brig. Gen. Donald Jacka, V Corps rear (provisional) commander, referred charges after the 1st AD deployed to Kuwait and turned the court-martial convening authority over to the Heidelberg-based V Corps.
The courts-martial come after a four-day Article 32 hearing — the equivalent to a civilian grand jury — last January at 1st AD headquarters in Wiesbaden. Schroeder and Humiston both were assigned to the Friedberg-based Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment. Lamebear, 18, was assigned to Company A, 1-36.
Germany police detained the two soldiers on Nov. 16, the day after a German man found Lamebear’s body in a parking garage in the Sachsenhausen bar district of Frankfurt. After the German police transferred jurisdiction to U.S. authorities, the Army charged Schroeder and Humiston on Nov. 19.
Neither Schroeder nor Humiston apparently faces the death penalty if convicted. A charge of premeditated murder was preferred against Schroeder in March, but was not referred to the courts-martial convening authority.
Germany does not have the death penalty, and — under the Status of Forces Agreement — has the right to try Americans accused of committing crimes on German soil, rather than turning them over to U.S. military authorities to face a capital trial.
However, Army authorities could have changed the venue to the States if they wanted to seek the death penalty, said Hilde Patton, V Corps spokeswoman.