Tech Sgt Heeter was not given 10 days after the SJAR to submit clemency matters. As a result of this black letter violation of RCM 1105(c)(1), the AFCCA sent his case back to the convening authority for appropriate post trial processing.
Opinion is available here.
Technical Sgt. Matthew G. Heeter (Appellant) was found guilty, pursuant to his pleas, of one charge and one specification of wrongfully using cocaine in violation of Art. 112a, UCMJ. On Appeal, Appellant raised two issues: (1) whether civilian trial counsel (JP) was ineffective when he (a) advised Appellant that he had ten days from the date JP received the staff judge advocate’s recommendation (SJAR) to submit his clemency matters, and (b) requested that the convening authority set aside Appellant's bad-conduct discharge, which was beyond the convening authority's power; and (2) whether new post-trial processing is required because (a) the convening authority denied Appellant the required ten days from the date he received the SJAR to submit clemency matters, and (b) the staff judge advocate (SJA) did not address JP's request in the addendum to the SJAR. In a unanimous opinion, the action of the convening authority was set aside.
Because the Court found in favor of Appellant as to the second AOE, his first issue is moot and is not addressed in this opinion.
Because the Court resolved the first issue, it found no reason to reach the second.
Opinion authored by Judge Ramirez, joined by Chief Judge Johnson and Judge Key.
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