Saturday, April 30, 2005

Sgt. Daniel Coburn Gets Immunity in LT Pantano Hearing

After a lot of starting and stopping yesterday, LT. Pantano's Article 32 hearing kind of fizzled due to Sgt. Coburn's refusal to re-enter the stand. Despite being assured by the court that he would not be prosecuted for violating direct orders, Sgt. Coburn still insisted upon immunity from future prosecution. Since he was scheduled for a 5-6 hour cross-examination by Gittens, who planned to focus on the events of last April, this effectively halted proceedings (again), and the judges called for a recess until Saturday morning.

Today, we've learned that Sgt. Coburn has been granted immunity by the court, at Charles Gittens' request, and is expected to be on the stand today. I hope that was a shrewd move on Gitten's part. It makes me believe that he feels that he can pull some semblance of the truth out of Coburn! Apparently, he's pretty confident that whatever he needs to ask Coburn about the events in question will vindicate and strengthen LT Pantano's case.

I'm not sure what Coburn's immunity specifically covers. Is it only for the violation of the gag order, or is it a blanket immunity for possibly bringing false charges? We'll have to find out. I sincerely hope it's not the latter - since I don't think Coburn should be able to walk away from all this unscathed!

Also, Kit at Euphoric Reality, has written an editorial concerning Sgt. Coburn's behavior during this high-profile case: Coburn Needs to Stop Being a Coward!