January 1 - December 31, 2013:
Dear Military Support Community:
Legal Defense Funds needed to Appeal a wrongful conviction of a former Ranger, Sgt. David W. Hartley, USA. The previous defense attorney who represented Sgt. Hartley at trial provided an inadequate defense, has been relieved, and has been replaced by a highly competent team of defense attorneys.
Your support of the Sgt. David W. Hartley Legal Defense Fund for the filing of an Appeal of his wrongful conviction which occurred Wednesday 26 September 2012 at a bench trial before a judge without a jury is sincerely requested to ensure that your brother-in-arms receives the legal counsel and representation that he deserves and a retrial with competent legal counsel at his side.
Why help Sgt. Hartley? Because, Rangers, Marines, SEALS, Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen never leave a man behind and should any of us falter and make an error in judgment as did Sgt. Hartley, USA, an Honorably Discharged combat-experienced Ranger, we would each hope and pray for support from our brothers and sisters in arms. It is not disputed that Sgt. Hartley was DWI on the date he was involved in an auto accident in Brazos County, Texas, in February, 2010; however, because I was at the trial during the sentencing phase and listened carefully to the two prosecuting attorneys' arguments for very severe punishment, I left the trial convinced that Sgt. Hartley was re-indicted just a couple of months ago with the charge of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon (the deadly weapon was his vehicle) to attempt to punish him more severely than his civilian peers/counterparts and more severely than required under Texas statutes for the accident involving DWI because he had such a sterling, clean personal record, was an Honorably Discharged elite Army Ranger and a Texas State Trooper.
This was a very unfortunate accident and it is being portrayed by the prosecution as Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon because Sgt. Hartley was driving a vehicle. The use of this statute in this case is a creative overreach on the part of the prosecution and, in my view, represents a rogue prosecution using this fine American patriot as an example of what will happen to veterans or active duty service members who make an error in judgment in Brazos County, Texas. Sgt. Hartley deserves some level of punishment but not a felony with mandatory jail time and I would submit that he has already suffered greatly due to the loss of his livelihood and the public embarrassment that has accompanied this accident. It should also be noted that Sgt. Hartley lost his older brother, SSG Jeffery Lee Hartley, USA, also an Army Ranger, in Iraq on 8 Aprl 2008, and Sgt. Hartley is currently undergoing treatment for PTSD.
Sgt. Hartley's DD-214 is available on request and his service in the Rangers has been further verified by the Ranger Association by comrades who served with David.
The Legal Defense Fund for Sgt. Hartley follows:
David Wayne Hartley Legal Defense Fund:
Checks can be made payable to OME/DWHLDF and can be mailed to:
P. O. Box 149
Hockley, Texas 77447-0149
Contributions to this fund can be made via the www.operationmilitaryembrace.com website via the donation feature with a follow-up e-mail to J. P. Reed at firstname.lastname@example.org to inform me that a contribution has been made online via the OME website so that I can isolate these funds for this Restricted Purpose.
All funds contributed to the DWH Legal Defense Fund will be under the fiduciary control of Operation Military Embrace, Inc., and all payments from this fund will be made directly to the attorneys representing former Ranger Sgt. Hartley. The law firm is: Zimmermann, Lavine, Zimmermann & Sampson, P. C., of Houston, Texas. These are highly competent legal defense attorneys who are former JAGs and combat veterans. The initial legal action is to file an Appeal for a retrial at the first level of Appeals in Texas and that cost is $20k plus approximately another $2k for court-related expenses with an additional cost of $30k for further appeals if the 1st level appeal is unsuccessful. Thus, the total to be raised for all levels of appeal is $52k with the initial $22k needed to file the first level Appeal by 31 October. If the first level of appeal is successful, then the next step will be to raise funding for re-trial and that cost will be defined at that time.
Semper Fidelis & Rangers Lead The Way,
Jerry P. Reed, USMC, Chu Lai, RVN 10/67 – 11/68
Treasurer - David Wayne Hartley Legal Defense Fund
Operation Military Embrace, Inc.
June 28-29, 2013:
June trip to SAMMC (San Antonio Military Medical Center). This event will be held over Friday and Saturday, instead of the usual Saturday and Sunday.