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Airman court-martialed for larceny and housebreaking

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- An Airman was convicted in connection with various thefts from the dorm rooms of fellow Airmen in a trial by special court-martial May 13 here. 

Airman Tylre Allen was charged with larceny, housebreaking, concealment of stolen property, and dereliction of duty, in violation of Articles 121, 130, 134 and 92, respectively, of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. 

Airman Allen pled guilty to all charges and specifications, and chose to stand trial before a military judge, forgoing the option to be tried by a panel of officer and enlisted members. Maj. Jonathan Widmann and Capt. Anna Waltman, 30th Space Wing Staff Judge Advocate's Office, prosecuted the case for the government. Capt. Matthew Talcott, Area Defense Counsel from Nellis AFB, Nev., represented the accused. 

When an Airman pleads guilty to a crime, the military judge conducts a special hearing, known as a Care inquiry, to ensure that the guilty plea appears to be accurate and that it is submitted knowingly and voluntarily. At the conclusion of the Care inquiry, the military judge accepted the guilty plea and found Airman Allen guilty as charged. Prior to sentencing, the judge heard sworn testimony from two witnesses, an unsworn oral presentation by Airman Allen, and oral arguments from both Major Widmann and Captain Talcott. 

At a general court-martial, the maximum sentence for the charged crime would have included a Dishonorable Discharge (the most severe military discharge characterization) and up to 12 years and 6 months of confinement; however, a special court-martial has certain sentence limitations. A special court-martial, while free to impose other appropriate punishments, is limited to imposing no more than one year of confinement and a punitive discharge no greater than a Bad Conduct Discharge. For these reasons, the legal office and convening authority consider all the facts and circumstances surrounding a crime before determining the appropriate forum. 

Ultimately, Airman Allen received a federal conviction and was sentenced to a reduction to the rank of E-1, pay forfeitures totaling $2,694 and 90 days of confinement. Prior to the court-martial, the convening authority entered into a pretrial agreement with Airman Allen, in exchange for his guilty pleas that will limit the confinement period to 70 days.