5 years, DD, total forfeiture, reduction to E-1, Federal felony conviction
Mr. Bilecki tried this case with civilian defense attorney Phil Cave. The client – an Iraq scout sniper diagnosed with PTSD – was charged with over-intoxication and aggravated assault on his wife. After an argument with her, the client punched his wife repeatedly, resulting in a broken nose, collapsed eardrum, and facial malignancies.
After the incident, the client confessed to members of his unit. Before trial, the defense suppressed the portable breath test used to bolster the charge of over-intoxication since the machine was not properly calibrated; that charge was dismissed. The defense tried the case at a panel (jury) trial but was prevented from citing the client’s PTSD by a military judge. Mr. Bilecki and Mr. Cave then formulated a self-defense defense and devised an instruction that allowed mention of the client’s PTSD symptoms as well as his prior deployments.
The client was convicted of simple assault, a lesser included offense, and was sentenced to a two-grade reduction, only 15 days confinement and no discharge.