Prosecutors on Wednesday arrested U.S. soldiers and their Korean accomplices for smuggling bags of philopon methamphetamines worth 13.6 billion won ($11.9 million).
Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office arrested an American private, 20, and two Korean-Americans for infringing Korean narcotics laws. Prosecutors also booked without arrest another American private, 20, stationed at K-6 base in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, for providing an address to where the contraband could be sent.
They are also searching for four Korean-Americans.
An accomplice in California sent the drugs to Korea in December, prosecutors claim.
They weighed 4.1 kilograms ― enough for 130,000 users. [Korea Times]
You can read more at the link, but I hope they are sentenced to the maximum penalty allowed by Korean law.
Via a reader tip comes news that ROK government held a meeting with USFK to address changes they want made to the US-ROK Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA):
Yeo Seung-bae (R), director-general for North American affairs at the South Korean foreign ministry, shakes hands with Deputy Commander of U.S. Forces Korea Thomas Bergeson in Seoul on Nov. 22, 2016, before a joint committee meeting on a bilateral agreement governing the legal status of American forces here, known as the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), to discuss a range of pending issues. (Yonhap)
South Korea and the United States on Tuesday had a joint committee meeting to discuss various issues on their agreement governing the legal status of American forces stationed in South Korea, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Tuesday.
The 197th joint committee meeting of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), which defines areas of legal responsibility of the 28,000-strong U.S. soldiers here, was held at the foreign ministry in Seoul. The SOFA meeting is held once or twice a year, and this was the first time since last December that South Korea and the U.S. officials convened.
The foreign ministry said Yeo Seung-bae, the foreign ministry’s director-general for North America and his counterpart Thomas Bergeson, deputy commander of the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK), touched on issues such as education of American forces on local law and customs, the USFK’s stable employment of South Korean workers and environmental problems near the U.S. bases here.
The ministry added that the two sides also talked about implementation measures taken after a live anthrax sample from a U.S. military laboratory was shipped to a local military base by mistake and caused alarm bells to go off in the country last year.
The meeting took place before U.S. President-elect Donald Trump — one of whose campaign pledges was to have allies, including South Korea, pay more for American troops stationed in those countries — took over the White House. [Yonhap]
You can read more at the link, but the ROKs are still complaining about the oil leak issue in the Seoul subway system they have been blaming on Yongsan Garrison for years now. You would think if the oil leak was coming from Yongsan they would have found it by now. The other thing in the article that caught my attention was that they are still complaining about GI crimes. The article even states that the US military crime rate has steadily dropped since 2010 from an already extremely low crime rate compared to the surrounding Korean population.
You can read more about the US-ROK SOFA at the below link:
Here is another example of a race baiting article being pushed by the media insinuating that the poor black soldier in this article that could not afford an attorney is some how getting treated unfairly compared to the white soldier who’s family could afford a civilian attorney. The article claims they committed similar crimes and received very different sentences. However, upon closer scrutiny the two crimes were very different and tried in different court systems thus different outcomes not that facts matter in click bait articles like this:
Two soldiers from the same Joint Base Lewis-McChord infantry battalion experienced two very different kinds of justice when they came home from training events a year apart and carried out deadly crimes.
Pvt. Jeremiah Hill, prosecuted in Army court, received a sentence of 45 years in prison for knifing another soldier in the heart on a Lakewood street.
The rookie soldier from a poor Chicago family had an Army-provided defense attorney and rarely showed remorse when he testified.
Spc. Skylar Nemetz, prosecuted in Pierce County Superior Court, last week received a sentence of less than 14 years for causing the death of his wife, Danielle, when he accidentally shot her in the head with a rifle.
His Northern California family reached deep into their savings to hire an experienced private attorney. Nemetz wept on the witness stand and persuaded a jury he didn’t mean to kill his wife.
The disparities in outcomes for two soldiers from the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment show the differences in what can happen when the Army and Pierce County carry out their informal agreement to decide which agency should prosecute soldiers who commit crimes outside of JBLM. [News Tribune]
You can read the rest at the link to learn the details of each case.
Here are the USFK court martial results and ROK criminal prosecutions for March 2016. For whatever reason the PAO did not post the February 2016 results. Anyway there was a lot of incidents adjudicated in March which included mostly sexual assault and petty larceny cases. I wonder what all the people convicted of larceny were caught doing?
Results of US Court-Martials for March 2016
On 1 March 2016, at a Special Court-Martial, SGT Eliejaiah I. Belton, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, Eighth Army, was found guilty of one specification of abusive sexual contact (Article 120, UCMJ), two specifications of assault consummated by a battery (Article 128), one specification of unlawful entry (Article 134), one specification of adultery (Article 134), one specification of wearing improper uniform (Article 134), four specifications of maltreatment of a subordinate (Article 93), and one specification of violating a lawful general regulation (Article 92). He was sentenced to be reduced to the grade of E-1, to forfeit $687 per month for three months, and to be confined for three months.
On 2 March 2016, at a General Court-Martial, SGT Patrick L. Clark, 6th Ordinance Battalion, Materiel Support Command-Korea, was found guilty of one specification of committing a sexual assault and one specification of committing an abusive sexual contact (Article 120, UCMJ). He was sentenced to be confined for 25 months and to be discharged from the service with a dishonorable discharge.
On 11 March 2016, at a Summary Court-Martial, PVT Richard E. Potter, 6th Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment, 210th Field Artillery Brigade, was found guilty of one specification of assault consummated by battery (Article 128, UCMJ). He was sentenced to forfeiture of $696.00 pay per month for one month and to be restricted for 45 days.
On 12 March 2016, at a Special Court-Martial, SFC Jeffrey L. Cupitt, 1st Signal Brigade, was found guilty of one specification of larceny of government property of a value over $500 (Article 121, UCMJ) and four specifications of false official statement (Article 107). He was sentenced to be confined for four months and to be reprimanded.
On 14 March 2016, at a Special Court-Martial, SGT Maria E. Rosario, 121 Combat Support Hospital, 65th Medical Brigade, was found guilty of two specifications of larceny, each of a value under $500 (Article 121, UCMJ). She was sentenced to be reduced to the grade of E-3, and to be restricted for 60 days.
On 24 March 2016, at a General Court-Martial, SPC Danny J. Jackson, 498th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, Materiel Support Command-Korea, was found guilty of one specification of sexual assault and one specification of abusive sexual contact (Article 120, UCMJ), one specification of false official statement (Article 107), and two specifications of assault consummated by a battery (Article 128). He was sentenced to be reduced to the grade of E-1, to forfeit all pay and allowances, to be confined for twelve months, and to be discharged from the service with a dishonorable discharge.
On 31 March 2016, at a Special Court-Martial, SGM Terrence S. Ellies, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, Eighth Army, was found guilty of one specification of larceny of military property of under $500 (Article 121, UCMJ), and three specifications of false official statement (Article 107). He was sentenced to be reprimanded, to pay a fine of $1,200, and to forfeit $4,644 per month for two months.
On 31 March 2016, at a General Court-Martial, SSG Thomas M. Weekly, 194th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 2d Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade, was found guilty of two specifications of assault consummated by a battery (Article 128, UCMJ) and unlawful entry (Article 134). He was sentenced to be reduced to the grade of E-4, and to be confined for 6 months.
Results of ROK Criminal Prosecutions for March 2016
In Busan District Court, on 2 March 2016, SFC Curtis W. Turner, B Co, 532d MI Bn, was convicted of DUI. His adjudged sentence was a 1,000,000 Won fine.
In Suwon District Court, on 23 March 2016, SPC Shanna C. S. McLaurin, HHC, 304th ESB, USAG Humphreys, was convicted of traffic law violations. Her adjudged sentence was a 3,000,000 Won fine.
Below are the January 2016 USFK Court Martial and ROK criminal prosecution results results from the USFK website. Really nothing of interest this month other than a Lieutenant Colonel being convicted of larceny and fined $20,000. The results did not specify what he did, but I would not be surprised if it was BAH fraud. You can read the rest below:
Results of US Court-Martials for January 2016
On 5 January 2016, at a Summary Court-Martial, Private (E-2) Emanuel C. Morrison, 94th Military Battalion, Material Support Center-Korea, was found guilty of one specification of committing abusive sexual contact (Article 120, UCMJ). His adjudged sentence was to be reduced to the grade of E-1; to forfeit $1,049.00 pay for one month; and to be confined for 30 days.
On 12 January 2016, at a Special Court-Martial, Staff Sergeant Kenneth S. Clark, 121 Combat Support Hospital, 65th Medical Brigade, was found guilty of one specification of larceny (Article 121, UCMJ). He was sentenced to be reduced to the grade of E-4, to forfeit $1,200 per month for three months, and to be confined for 90 days.
On 14 January 2016, at a General Court-Martial, Lieutenant Colonel Halbert Brown, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, Eighth Army, was found guilty of two specifications of larceny (Article 120, UCMJ), and four specifications of false official statement (Article 107). He was sentenced to be reprimanded and to be fined $20,000.
On 20 January 2016, at a Summary Court-Martial, Private (E-1) Kiwon C. Butts, 304th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, 1st Signal Brigade, was found guilty of one specification failure to go to formation (Article 86, UCMJ), and two specifications of disobeying a lawful general order or regulation (Article 92). He was sentenced to forfeit $1,044.00 and to be confined for 30 days.
Results of ROK Criminal Prosecutions for January 2016
In Uijeongbu District Court, on 7 January 2016, SPC Myeshia M. Hendrix, 618th Dental Co, USAG Casey, was convicted of traffic law violations. Her adjudged sentence was a 700,000 Won fine.
In Seoul Central District Court, on 8 January 2016, PFC Vaughn W. Herrald, E Co, 2-2 AHB-16, was convicted of Intrusion upon Habitation. His adjudged sentence was a 500,000 Won fine.
In Suwon District Court, on 13 January 2016, Capt John M. Pulli, 303d IS, Osan Air Base, was convicted of DUI. His adjudged sentence was a 3,000,000 Won fine.
In Suwon District Court, on 18 January 2016, SSG Jerill JC Cotton, 630th CCT, 411th CSB, Osan Air Base, withdrew his request for a formal trial and thus the DUI conviction and 5,000,000 Won fine through the summary order became final.
In Seoul Central District Court, on 22 January 2016, 1Lt Daniel J. Brom, 8th FW, Kunsan Air Base, was convicted of Destruction and Damage of Property. His adjudged sentence was a 1,000,000 Won fine.
In Seoul Central District Court, on 27 January 2016, MSG Channon W. Green, HHC, MSC-K, USAG Daegu (Carroll), was convicted of traffic law violations. His adjudged sentence was a 4,000,000 Won fine.
In Suwon District Court, on 28 January 2016, PV2 Audrea N. Johnson, C Co, 304th ESB, USAG Humphreys, was convicted of Infliction of Bodily Injury. His adjudged sentence was a 1,000,000 Won fine.
1967 is when the first US-South Korea Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) was signed which handed over legal jurisdiction of crimes committed by US troops while off duty to the Korean authorities. The most serious case that was first tried in a Korean court involving a US servicemember was the 1967 murder of Chun-ja Kim by Private Eugene D. Taylor. Taylor was a cook assigned to Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry DIvision. Taylor was just days away from completing his tour of duty in Korea when he arrested for the murder of his Korean girlfriend on November 5, 1967.
From the November 27, 1967 edition of the Stars & Stripes.
Before redeploying to the US, Pvt. Taylor decided to go on a drunken bender at his girlfriend’s residence. For some reason during his drunken bender he decided to strangle and kill his Korean girlfriend, Chun-ja Kim that he supposedly had plans to return to Korea to marry. He committed this murder two days before redeploying to the US. This just shows that even back in the 1960’s soldiers at high risk of getting in trouble are those within 30 days of going home. It also shows that the old Korean complaint of GIs committing crimes in Korea and then getting away with them by flying back to the US was also not true back then.
From the February 8, 1968 edition of the Stars & Stripes.
The landlord of the home that Ms. Kim lived at discovered the body in the morning along with Taylor bleeding with a neck wound. He claims that when he woke up and discovered Kim’s dead body that he tried to commit suicide by slashing his neck with a piece of broken glass. It appears he was drunk enough to kill someone else, but not drunk enough to kill himself.
From the March 7, 1968 edition of the Stars & Stripes.
Ultimately Pvt Taylor was convicted of the murder of Ms. Kim and sentenced to 8 years in a Korean prison. It seems like a pretty lenient sentence, but the Korean court took into consideration the mitigating circumstances of him being a soldier deployed to defend Korea and the fact he was drunk. So being drunk back in the 60’s was considered a mitigating circumstance just like it is today in Korean courts.
From the April 11, 1968 edition of the Stars & Stripes.
Taylor’s crime is now long forgotten in the dustbins of USFK history, but he does have the dubious distinction of being the first American servicemember convicted and sentenced for murder in a South Korean court. This case shows that US servicemembers were held accountable for the crimes in Korean courts back then and continue to be held accountable today.
Note:You can read more GI Flashbacks articles by clicking on the below link:
There has been many murder cases involving USFK servicemembers over the years, however there probably not one that was more gruesome than the murder committed by West Virginia native Private Kenneth L. Markle. Markle was a 20 year old medic assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division when he was arrested for murdering a Korean prostitute named Kum-i Yun in the Dongducheon ville outside of Camp Casey on October 28, 1992. Ms. Yun’s dead body was discovered beaten with an umbrella in her anus, a coke bottle in her vagina, and laundry detergent spread all over her.
The Poory Chop Store building was where the gruesome crime scene was located.
Private Markle was arrested two days after the crime when an employee that worked at the Crown Club that Markle left Ms. Yun with, recognized him.
Article from the November 23, 1992 edition of the Stars & Stripes.
After Markle was arrested for the crime he claimed that he hit Ms. Yun four times over the head with a bottle after she attacked him. During the trial he said that she was alive when he left the room because he heard her groaning. However, Markle was proven to have lied about whether she was alive or not when Special Agent Willie Evans who was the chief polygraph examiner for the Army Criminal Investigation Division testified that Markle told him during a pre-polygraph questioning period that Ms. Yun was dead when he left the room.
Picture of the victim, Kum-i Yun.
Evans further testified that Markle told him that he was sure she was dead because he was a trained medic and checked her pulse. Evans further testified that Markle felt sorry about what happened, but that she attacked him first and that she “had an ass-whipping coming”. Evans said that after Markle realized that he killed her that he sat in a corner and cried. Evans then concluded his testimony by saying Markle also failed his polygraph test. The parts he failed were in regards to whether he had sex with her, put the Coke bottle in her vagina, the umbrella in her anus, and spread the detergent on her.
Article from the March 26, 1993 edition of the Stars & Stripes.
Instead of simply denying he killed Ms. Yun, Markle during the trial tried to pin the blame on another soldier Specialist Jason Lambert.
Lambert was 22 years old and also assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division. Markle claimed that he got into a fight that night with Lambert when he was trying to be a good Samaritan and help a drunken Ms. Yun he saw on the street back to her room. Markle claims that Lambert confronted him because Yun was his girlfriend and wanted to take her back to the room. Markle says he told Lambert that he would take her back and not Lambert. When Markle got Ms Yun into her room that is when she supposedly attacked him leading to him defending himself. Markle then claimed that when he came out he saw Lambert and he told him that he was going to go inside to have sex with Ms. Yun. Markle concluded his testimony by claiming Lambert then went inside the room. Markle also claimed that Lambert made a statement to investigators that he admitted going into the room 10 minutes after Markle left. Markle also claimed that Lambert was bragging to friends about the murder scene. Finally Markle has claimed that semen found inside of Ms. Yun was from a different blood type, not his. I have seen no evidence to support any of Markle’s claims about Lambert.
What Markle’s defense comes down to is that he bashed Ms. Yun with the bottle as an act of self defense and left her unconscious while Lambert went in and killed her to get back at Markle for a confrontation that supposedly happened earlier that night. This whole scenario is contradicted by the CID special agent’s testimony. Also Lambert denied Markle’s claims about what happened. Lambert testified that he went to Ms. Yun’s room three times while Markle was inside and heard sounds that indicated they were having sex. He said he left before Markle came out.
Also of note is that during the trial the Korean Hankyoreh reported that Markle was a barracks thief and troublemaker in days before the incident happened:
First Leutenant John Glin who used the same room with Markle testified Markle’s habit of theft in court. Markle’s nickname was ‘barrack shoes’; he got this nickname when his colleagues’ things were found in his locker. Markle was disciplined for fighting his ranking officers; he was to mow the lawn in a rainy day. Markle, with a knife in his hand, said he would commit a suicide. In the next day of the crime, Markle told first leutenant Glin “If someone knows what I did on Tuesday, he will not be able to see me forever.”
On April 14, 1993 Private Markle was ultimately convicted of the crime and sentenced to life in prison, but his sentence would later be reduced by the Korean court to 15 years.
Article from the April 15, 1993 edition of the Stars & Stripes.
Of interest though was that during the conviction the Seoul District Court Judge Byon Dong-gul stated the testimony by Specialist Lambert was inconsistent and that he may have lied.
Article from the April 16, 1993 edition of the Stars & Stripes.
I have found nothing in the media discussing what Lambert may have lied about. However, unconfirmed speculation that I have heard is that Lambert made claims about not being in an altercation with Ms. Yun the night prior though witnesses confirm that he did have an altercation with her. Once again this is unconfirmed speculation, but it would be interesting to know what the Korean court thought Lambert lied about during the trial. After the trial Specialist Jason Lambert returned to the United States and was discharged from the Army.
Article from the November 27, 1993 edition of the Stars & Stripes.
There had been other GI murderers before Markle, but nothing as gruesome as this had ever happened before. Besides the gruesome nature of the crime the anti-US movement in South Korea was gaining momentum as South Korea was exiting its military ruler years and entering into an era of democracy. This era of democracy allowed long suppressed voices within the nation to express their anti-US point of view. The anti-US activist who would not normally care about a prostitute like Ms. Yun were more than happy to exploit her death to advance their cause. If a prostitute like Ms. Yun was killed the way she was by a Korean hardly anyone would care, the fact a US soldier did it is what made this news.
During the trial Private Markle was kept in custody at the Camp Humphreys Confinement Facility. This was something else that the anti-US groups at the time were able to demagogue to drive anti-US sentiment. They wanted Markle held in a Korean jail, but it was agreed upon in the US-ROK Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) that all US military prisoners would be held in US custody until the soldier was convicted. This was to ensure that the servicemember was treated properly, had access to an interpreter, and not put under duress to sign false confessions. This SOFA sticking point would remain a major anti-US issue for many years until the SOFA was changed in the 2000’s where ROK authorities could hold prisoners prior to trial for major crimes like murder.
Though not as prevalent today in South Korea the Markle murder case after the 2002 Armored Vehicle Accident was used prominently by activists back then to push their anti-US agenda. I can remember my unit was responding to a protest in front of Camp Red Cloud back in 2004 and activists had signs with the pictures of crushed bodies of the two little girls from the accident, but also pictures of Ms. Yun’s defaced body. These activists obviously had no shame and were willing to exploit anything to advance their cause.
Here are some thoughts I have on this case. First of all Markle admits to hitting Ms. Yun to the point that she was unconscious and he had to check her pulse. He claims that she was alive after checking the pulse and was groaning. The CID special agent Willie Evan’s testimony directly refutes this claim. Why would the CID agent lie about what Markle told him during the pre-polygraph questioning? Unlike the testimony from Lambert, Special Agent Evans has no motive to lie. How does Markle explain away this testimony? Further more he failed the polygraph in regards to the questions of whether he had sex with Ms. Yun and defaced the body. I don’t put as much stock in the polygraph results, but Special Agent Evan’s testimony is what sealed the deal for me on this case that Markle killed Ms. Yun. The only thing I am not as convinced of is whether he defaced the body since he did not admit to that to Evans; just the polygraph points to him which is not as reliable as the direct witness testimony from Special Agent Evans. Of interest though is that Markle’s former defense attorney Lieutenant Colonel Kevin M. Boyle, said in a 2007 interview that Markle had covered Ms. Yun’s body with washing detergent to destroy evidence:
Both before and since the Kwangju Uprising, an incident seems to occur every decade that further destabilizes the already frail U.S.-ROK alliance. The 7th Infantry Division withdrew in the 1970s, one of two American Army divisions that had been in Korea since the end of the Korean War. The 1980s saw the Kwangju Uprising, and the 1990s brought the murder of Kum E. Yoon, a Korean prostitute, by a 2d Infantry Division (2ID) Soldier. In the first decade of the twenty-first century there was the uproar over the decision to resume the importation of American beef. It is difficult to overstate the deleterious impact on the alliance brought about by the rape and murder of Kum E. Yoon by Private Kenneth Markle. At the time of the crime, Markle was assigned to 2ID and stationed at Camp Casey in Dongducheon. Yoon worked as a “juicy girl” in one of the camptown clubs. On 28 October 1993, Markle raped Yoon and bludgeoned her to death with a soda bottle. Yoon’s landlord discovered her naked, blood-caked body. Her legs had been spread apart, a bottle inserted into her vagina, and an umbrella inserted eleven inches into her rectum. Markle had also covered the body and the entire crime scene with laundry detergent—apparently believing it would act as lye and destroy the evidence. Markle was sentenced to fifteen years in prison by a Korean court. [Military Law Review]
Could have Lambert stumbled on to the scene later that night and saw the dead body and then defaced it? Maybe, but what would have been his motive for doing so? He might have been pissed that Yun was having sex with Markle if he did in fact think of her as his girlfriend, but defacing the body seems like something he would not do because it could implicate him in the murder. This is why I agree with the Korean court’s finding that he probably did deface the body.
Also how narcissistic is Markle that even if he savagely beat a woman unconscious like he claims, that two nights later he would go right back to the same club. It seems to me a normal person would feel remorse and be extremely stressed out over the situation; not go to the same club the girl worked at to go party two days later.
Criticisms of the Trial
During and after the trial, Markle’s parents began a long advocacy campaign to condemn the US military and the US government for its handling of the Markle case. They would make multiple trips to Korea for the trial and the appeals process:
Article from the July 9, 1994 edition of the Stars & Stripes.
The Markle family even tried to stop the military from handing over their son to the Korean authorities after his conviction by appealing to the US Supreme Court. The Supreme Court denied their case and Markle was handed over to the Korean authorities to serve his time at the Cheonan Correctional Facility where all USFK prisoners convicted of crimes in Korean courts are held. Despite the criticisms from the family USFK in a highly unusual incidence flew and housed the Markle family in Korea during the trial and paid for his defense attorney.
Article from the February 23, 1993 edition of the Stars & Stripes.
One of the points of contention they had was that Markle signed a confession that was all in Korean without an interpreter. If so this should not have been used as evidence if is was in fact used during the trial. Also the fact that anti-US protesters were allowed in the courtroom to continuously disrupt proceedings should have also not have been allowed. Such protests within the courtroom could have influenced the judges to give into public opinion.
Markle did not do much to help his cause in prison when he was punished for a minor incident he helped to instigate due to an issue with the prison mail that caused him and another prisoner to go into solitary confinement for 57 days.
Article from the December 17, 1995 edition of the Stars & Stripes.
Markle’s Release from Prison
Markle would go on to be quietly released from jail in August 2006 and returned to the US just over a year before his 15 year sentence would have been completed:
SEOUL — A former U.S. soldier imprisoned in South Korea on a murder conviction was released this summer, both South Korean and U.S. authorities confirmed Friday.
Former Pvt. Kenneth L. Markle was supposed to be released in early 2008 but was freed on Aug. 14 with two years and nine months of time left on his sentence, the South Korea Ministry of Justice confirmed Friday.
Markle’s release drew attention last week when a member of Korea’s National Assembly criticized the move, saying Markle had not shown model behavior as a prisoner. On Aug. 15, Markle boarded a plane for the States and was separated from the military, a U.S. Forces Korea spokesman said.
Markle’s case sparked debate and protests in the early 1990s after he was accused of brutally attacking a South Korean woman. [Stars & Stripes]
The quiet release was likely done to preempt any of the anti-US groups from making a scene when Markle was set to be released. If that was plan it work quite well because little was made of Markle’s release at the time in the media. Amazingly after his release Markle resurfaced here on the ROK Drop. The below link to a November 2006 posting has a long drawn out discussion with Markle and a number of his past girlfriends and acquaintances who either defend or condemn him as the murderer:
The comments section in this old posting is probably the most incredible discussion in this site’s history that I recommend everyone read. Markle continued to proclaim his innocence using many of the same claims he used before. However, when I confronted him to post the trial’s transcript for everyone to read he refused to. Being able to read the transcripts would clear up a lot of the speculation and unknown facts discussed previously in this posting. The fact that he does not want to post the transcripts for people like myself to scrutinize further shows in my opinion he has something to hide.
As if the saga of Kenneth Markle could not get any stranger it does. It turns out that someone with the same name and age of Markle was arrested and sentenced to 7 years in jail for abusing his wife back in 2014:
A Lackawanna man who attacked his estranged wife when she arrived at his apartment last Halloween, then held off police for five hours before he agreed to surrender, got the maximum prison sentence this week.
State Supreme Court Justice Deborah A. Haendiges imposed the seven-year term on Kenneth Markle, 42, who had pleaded guilty to second-degree assault, according to Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III.
Before sentencing, Markle promised to become a productive member of society and asked the judge to give him the minimum prison sentence followed by probation.
But the judge told him that the only way she could ensure his wife’s safety was to sentence him to the maximum.
Prosecutors said Markle turned off all the lights in his apartment on Magnolia Street that evening and waited for his wife, then hit her in the head with a baseball bat and choked her. She fought him off and escaped with their child to a neighbor’s houses.
During the police standoff, he boasted through text messages, phone calls and social media that he was the cause of the standoff, which disrupted trick-or-treating on the block, prosecutors said.
Sedita credited Lackawanna police for resolving the standoff peacefully without further harm to anyone. [Buffalo News]
Is it the same Markle I don’t know, but it is highly coincidental that the guy has the same name and is of the same age.
Unlike other major crimes committed in Korea by US servicemembers, the legacy of this particular crime continues to lurk. Every time there is a major GI crime incident in Korea the Markle murder case comes back up for discussion. Due to Markle continuing to proclaim his innocence I hope this posting helps people to make up their own minds in regards to his guilt or innocence. I think it is pretty clear that Private Markle committed the crime he was sentenced and convicted of based on the media reports and second hand information I have received. If Markle would post the transcripts he proclaims would clear him of the crime then maybe I would have a change of opinion. However, he has refused to do so which I take to mean that there is further evidence that Markle does not want the public to read in those transcripts. Overall though this case really should be taken up by one of the true crime shows. It would be interesting to see what the resources from CBS’s 48 Hours or NBC’s Dateline could dig up on this old case. I would not be surprised however if their conclusions would ultimately match what I believe in this case, that Markle was the killer.
Note:You can read more GI Flashbacks articles by clicking on the below link:
1967 was the first year that US troops were allowed to be tried in a Korean court under the newly signed US-ROK Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA). Prior to the SOFA, US troops caught committing crimes in South Korea were tried in US military court martial. The first US servicemember tried in a Korean court was US Air Force Staff Sergent Billy Cox who was convicted in a taxi cab related incident. However, the first servicemember tried in the death of a Korean national was US Army Specialist John Vaughn.
Vaughn was a 20 year old Specialist from Douglasville, Georgia assigned to E Battery, 4th Missile Battalion, 44th Artillery outside of Kunsan where he served as a unit medic. Vaughn was accused of throwing a block of wood from the back of a moving vehicle and fatally killing 59 year old Dok-sin Yi who was a fish peddler riding a bicycle that the truck passed. What is especially interesting about this trial is not only is it the first trial of a US servicemember accused of killing a Korean national handled in a Korean court, but also the incident happened while on duty. What this means is that USFK voluntarily gave up jurisdiction for this case since any crime committed on duty is supposed to be handled by the US military. Considering how South Korea was in the midst of an attempted insurgency operation by North Korea at the time maybe the USFK leadership felt that even a case like this one that should have been tried by a court martial would be best to have in a Korean court to avoid any political repercussions?
Whatever the reasons, Vaughn found himself on trial in a Korean court and it may have actually worked out to his advantage. Vaughn claimed he accidentally dropped the wood from the truck that struck and killed Mr. Yi. The Korean Judge said that the prosecutors could not prove that Vaughn intentionally dropped the piece of wood from the truck that struck Mr. Yi. Due to this fact the judge convicted Vaughn of manslaughter and fined him 30,000 won which in 1967 was worth about $110. In addition to the $110 that Vaughn had to pay, USFK already paid the victim’s family $2,200 as well in compensation for the accident. Overall I would have to think that Specialist Vaughn must have felt pretty lucky to not have been convicted of more serious charges and only had to pay a $110 fine even if the death of Mr. Yi was an accident.
Note:You can read more GI Flashbacks articles by clicking on the below link: