SC National Guard Court Hears Misconduct Cases

Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- A judge heard arguments against two South Carolina national guardsmen Monday morning.

The servic men face a number of charges, including fraternization and conduct unbecoming.

Sergeant Major Roy Johnson is accused of attempting to intimidate a lower ranking officer into having an affair and trying to get her to tell investigators nothing happened. Prosecuting attorney Maj. Tom McDermott says he had previously been ordered to stay away from her.

Staff Sergeant Robert Phillips is accused of inappropriate conduct during a training exercise.

Capt. Neal Truslow, who represents both servicemen, filed a motion to dismiss the charges

He argued that their right to a speedy trial was violated because the cases had not moved forward in 120 days.

"It wasn't done until well after 120 days had expired. In fact, if you want to go from July until March, you know that that's more than 30, more than 60, more than 90, more than 120 and as we keep going on it compounds the problem," said Truslow.

McDermott said it was not practical to limit the state to that time frame when the SC National Guard does not operate on a full time basis like other branches of the military.

He also said charges were dropped and filed again for both men. McDermott says that restarts the clock requiring action.

"To go on a technicality to say they didn't meet exactly 120 days. Forget whether it's practical, they didn't meet 120 days this all should be dismissed. I think speaking about justice, that's not justice," said McDermott.

A judge is expected to make a decision on the motions to dismiss Tuesday morning.

South Carolina Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Robert E. Livingston released a statement about the cases, saying "We hold military leadership to the highest military standards through our court systems, which in many cases exceeds those established under civilian authority. These events today are a part of that process, which I am confident will lead to appropriate decisions. I will not comment on any facets of today's activities or throughout these proceeding as I do not want to exert any command influence."


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