Saturday, February 17, 2007


It looks like SSG Alberto Martinez will be getting an extra couple of months to prepare for his trial.

Judge postpones court-martial in Esposito slaying

A military judge has postponed the court-martial for a soldier charged with killing Capt. Phillip Esposito of Suffern and another officer in Iraq two years ago.

Opening statements for the trial of Staff Sgt. Alberto Martinez were to begin June 4. But Col. Patrick Parrish acquiesced to a defense motion for a delay and set an Aug. 13 deadline for empaneling a jury.

The trial would begin soon after that, said Thomas McCollum, a spokesman for Fort Bragg, N.C., where preliminary hearings in the case are being held. The trial is expected to be held there as well.

"The defense is being afforded every opportunity so that this case is tried completely fairly," McCollum said.

He announced no firm date for the court-martial.

Martinez has been charged with two counts of premeditated murder in the deaths of Esposito, 30, who was his company commander, and Lt. Louis E. Allen, 34, of Milford. Pa., second-in-command of the 42nd Infantry Division's headquarters unit.

Both men were wounded in an explosion June 7, 2005, at Forward Operating Base Danger near Tikrit. They died the next day.

Whatever happened to "justice delayed is justice denied," anyway? Or does that only apply to defendants?

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