Bend In The Branch

The personal opinions of one among many.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Monday Mutt Shot

Snoop Dog

Murder of a Marine

Updated (below)

Corporal Justin Lee Huff, 23, son of Blaine and Theresa, husband of Rebecca, father of an unborn child, Comrade of the Marines of 1st Marine Logistics Group, Veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, recipient of the Combat Action Ribbon and Navy Presidential Unit Citation, was laid to rest January 26, 2006.

Corporal Huff was reported missing January 2, 2006 when he failed to attend a class at the Navy and Marine Corps Intelligence Training Center at Dam Neck Annex. His burned body was discovered buried in a wooded area of Currituck County, North Carolina on January 13, 2006.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Cooper Jackson, 22, a fellow student, was arrested and charged with murder, kidnapping, impersonating an officer from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and obstruction of justice.

An Article 32 Hearing began Monday to determine if evidence supports trying (court-martialing) Jackson for all initial criminal charges.

Testimony indicates that Corporal Huff was a victim of circumstances instigated by the vile manipulation of an emotionally disturbed, foolhardily lovesick young man.

Jackson encountered “Samantha”, a supposed voluptuous and wealthy blonde who had reportedly been brutally raped by a Marine, on the internet. He never met “Samantha” (she left him waiting at an airport from 9:00 a.m. until closing over the Christmas Holiday), but he was convinced Huff was the Marine she described as having attacked her.

Jackson posed as a Naval Criminal Justice Investigative Agent and took Huff from Dam Neck in handcuffs to North Carolina, slit his throat, set him on fire, and buried him.

“Samantha” existed only in Jackson’s mind, and in the mind of Ashley Elrod, a hotel clerk who created the persona.

Jackson’s fate appears to be sealed.

One can only hope Ashley Elrod will be tried by a higher court for her participation in the murder of an innocent man.


Updated 14 June 2006

Cell phone records indicated Ashley Elrod made 4970 calls between December 7, 2005 and January 6, 2006. 509 calls were made to Cooper Jackson in December.

The rape she related to Petty Officer 3rd Class Cooper Jackson never occurred. It was merely a yarn spun to keep the sailor on the hook without reeling him in.

Jackson was not the only fish left dangling on the line.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael Chunke testified that Elrod, posing as “Callie Adams”, was “kind of” his girlfriend at the time, even though the two had never met.


Updated 15 June 2006

She e-mailed topless photos of a slender, attractive blonde and claimed to be wealthy.

He wanted to meet her.

She claimed to be the victim of rape; far too traumatized to trust another man.

He told her he wanted to kill the Marine who had raped her.

They often exchanged 50-70 calls a day.

Each and every lie heavyset, high school dropout Ashley Elrod told beget yet another.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Cooper Jackson killed Corporal Justin L. Huff.

He awaits a decision on whether he will face a court-martial that will surely end his career and could end his life.

She is in counseling because she “has low self-esteem” and needs “someone to talk to”.


Updated 24 July 2006

Petty Officer 3rd Class Cooper Jackson will face capital charges (the death penalty) in a general court marshal for the murder of Corporal Justin L. Huff

Updated 23 October 2006

The Plea Bargain: Petty Officer 3rd Class Cooper Jackson pled guilty to charges of premeditated murder, kidnapping, impersonating a Naval Criminal Investigative Service agent and obstruction of justice, avoiding a possible death sentence for the murder of Cpl. Justin L. Huff.

Updated 30 October 2006

Petty Officer 3rd Class Cooper Jackson has been sentenced to life in prison, without the possibility of parole.

I urge a donation in Corporal Huff's name for the benefit of his son to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Just Sayin'

If the safety bar wouldn't latch, "Hold on Tight" wouldn't persuade me to ride that roller coaster.

Monday Mutt Shot

Easy Chair

Monday, October 16, 2006

Monday Mutt Shot

Life Behind Bars Ain't Easy

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Wouldn't Have Believed it,

If I hadn't seen it

Tech. Sgt. Stephen Achey

Silver Star and "Keeper of the Flame" award recipient

Lance Corporal Jonathan W. Parker Memorial Overpass

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

SMSgt (Retired) Greg Elmore

"I was there because I'm American," he said. "It wasn't Greg Elmore — it was Americans doing great things. I'm just proud to be American."

Read more at The Item

Monday Mutt Shot

Pup in a Blanket

Monday, October 02, 2006

Monday Mutt Shot

Swallowed by a giant, toothy lizard.

Much to be Done

Today, those who lost their lives as a direct result of criminal domestic violence in South Carolina were remembered in a solemn ceremony.

Days ago, the Sheriff of a county in which a Police Chief had been arrested for criminal domestic violence made the following statement:

Sheriff James Metts said, "We were very shocked and concerned that a law enforcement officer would allegedly act in this manner."

Metts said, "We found the front door had been kicked in and the wife had been assaulted. She'd been knocked down to the floor. Water had been thrown on her."

The Sheriff also said, "We treat this like any other crime. It's a crime that occurred in the jurisdiction of Lexington County. Even though he's Chief, he lives in this jurisdiction and broke the law."

The Sheriff's statement failed to mention "...three separate incidents where Lexington deputies have responded to the couples' home. They say the first occurred in 2003 and the other two happened this year."

Far too reminiscent of the attitude freely expressed by a State Representative 18 months ago.