Military Inmates (Tweet This)
The closer it got to Tessler’s trial, the more military inmates started showing up in jail. I did not have to testify in all of their court-martials. Just two more and I was done.
I decided to reach out and call a friend from high school who had not responded to any of my letters at this time. I am sure it was pretty weird to accept a collect call from a jail, but I figured we were friends. I don’t think he really wanted to talk to me. It was probably out of pity that he accepted the call.
I was starting to feel more and more isolated from the life outside the walls. I realized now that I had probably burned some bridges with many people due to my actions and my current situations. It would probably take some time before people were used to the fact that even though I was an inmate with a criminal history, I was still David Mike.
While the church people were up at the jail, one of them asked if Eddie and I were interested in going to a school to speak to the students about our situation and to encourage them to stay out of trouble. We both said, “Yes” but were sure that the Army would never let it happen. It was good to hear someone say that they were interested in my story. That they were interested in me as a person. That I had value.
A letter came to me from Virginia. It was Jane and she had completed her move with her mom and brother. She said that she was doing fine and that she would see me at Captain Tessler’s trial. A lot of people were being called as witnesses in this trial!
Specialist Vann was a friend of mine and a medic in my unit. He was now with us. It was nice to see another familiar face. Eddie and I helped him get acclimated although he would not have to stay as long as we did.
A few days later, Chris Holmes arrived. I had to attend this court-martial. During the questioning, a specific incident was brought up. There were a few Ecstasy pills that had gotten crushed into powder. We took this powder and placed it inside the empty gelatin casing of Tylenol capsules.
This resulted in a charge of manufacturing Ecstasy. Because of this charge, Chris got sentenced to 4 years! I couldn’t believe this, he didn’t actually manufacture the drugs. We just made it so we didn’t have to snort it up our noses.
The next arrival was Specialist Bell who was also a medic in my unit. He was the other friend of Captain Tessler and had also overdosed on morphine in Panama. He was lucky to be alive. I found out something I did not know about Bell. His father, who was living in Texas, was a drug and alcohol counselor. Go figure!
Bell and Vann were going to have to be called as witnesses in Tessler’s trial. Because they bought drugs for him and partied with him, the judge was going to want to hear what they had to say.
They even brought Specialist Devin back from Ft. Leavenworth to testify against him as well. Devin used to live in Jane’s trailer and had been a mechanic in our unit. He was in a club one night and witnessed Tessler clearly losing his faculties on Ecstasy.
I guess Tessler was adamantly standing his ground on pleading not guilty to all charges against him. The Army was not taking any chances with taking down an Officer who was doing drugs. They wanted to make an example out of him.
This trial was going to be a pretty big deal. And to just think that Tessler was the one who turned in Bell and Vann. If he had never done that, his own trial would have never happened.
In the last week of March, Captain Steven Tessler had his court-martial. Because he pled not guilty, they really slammed him. He was sentenced to total forfeiture of all rank and pay. A dishonorable discharge, and seven years in confinement!
That was two years more than my sentence. Unbelievable.
He was taken up to the jail and was now a military inmate, just like the rest of us. He seemed to be taking it pretty well considering he was going away for a long time and he was sitting in jail with a bunch of inmates that had just testified against him.
The good thing for him was that Officers got a direct spot in Ft. Leavenworth. He would be taken there within days. The rest of us had to wait for a spot. Now that this trial was over and I had no more to testify in, I would be able to leave as soon as they found a place for me to go.
I talked to Devin a bit about what to expect at Ft. Leavenworth. He said it wasn’t bad at all. Everyone gets treated like humans. It was a pretty safe place if you have to be in a prison.
Everyone there was a military inmate. No civilians. It’s pretty well disciplined. So it was not like going to a federal or a state prison.
My only problem was, that even though I hadn’t been there yet, I already had a reputation as a snitch or an informant. Not a good label to have. Devin said, that no harm would come to me, but I would not be trusted for a long time.
I told him, I didn’t really care.
They took Devin back to Fort Leavenworth and they took Chris Holmes with him. Everyone else would be going either to Ft. Riley or Ft. Leavenworth around the same time.
Except Eddie, for some reason he got put on another thirty day hold.
I did not envy him.
I did not want to spend another minute in this disgusting place.
I was ready to go…
Next post, I move out of the jail but not to Fort Leavenworth…