Behind Enemy Lines
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Marine Jailed For Refusing to Testify Against Squad Leader

    "Out of every 100 men, ten shouldn't even be there, Eighty are just targets, Nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back." - Hericletus, circa 500 BC

RE: Marine Jailed Over Memorial Day Weekend for Exercising 5th Amendment
RE: Update - Marine Jailed for Exercising 5th Amendment

Sergeant Jermain Nelson appeared in front of Judge Stephen Larson in Riverside, California.  Apparently, Judge Larson will hear the case now and didn't accept Sergeant Nelson's refusal to testify.  Judge Larson put Sergeant Nelson into custody which means that Sergeant Nelson is again in jail for refusing to testify against his squad leader.

Below is a MUST READ email from someone who was at the hearing in Riverside:

Today was a very emotional day, the outcome was not what we wanted but it was a very good thing we were there.

P., S. and I arrived at the courthouse around 12:15, we parked and who do we see across the street, Sgt. Nelson, another Marine and [his attorney], Joseph Low. Mr. Low told us that the trial wouldn't start until 1:30, they were on their way to lunch and of course asked us to join them.

First I had to give Sgt. Nelson a big hug, from me and C., he was thrilled to get hugs from all of us.

The second marine was his jag officer, a great guy from West Virginia. Sgt. Nelson told us stories of life in Iraq - marines are never based in easy cushy bases, they are beyond the FOBs, live on MREs and sometimes, when their vehicle got blown up - on bread from the locals. As you can imagine, P. and I were ready to hop the first plane and just go cook for these guys.

He said baby wipes are essential, as are socks. Their socks get so wet and sweaty that their skin peels off inside. another great use for socks, they put a water bottle inside,   wet the sock and leave it out over night, the wind evaporates the wet sock and in the morning they have a nice cool drink.

After lunch it was off to the courthouse. We met Bill who had just arrived, thinking he was late.

We were wearing Marine T-shirts and the security guards at the entrance were very   happy to see us. Outside the courtroom the bailiff came up to us and said: "I can't say anything, but you'll understand, I am a former Marine."

We got the message loud and clear.

And now the bad news, things moved slowly, the judge didn't enter the room until 2:30 and immediately called Sgt. Nelson and Mr. Low. They once again pleaded their case, and the prosecutor had played a dirty trick. Mr. Low had asked for transcripts from Judge Anderson's courtroom [the previous judge in the hearing]. They were only sent this morning, when Mr Low was not around to   review them. But that didn't matter to the judge. Despite some very good arguments by Atty Low (who asked the judge at one point, "what benefit is there to hearing Sgt. Nelson speak, over the transcripts and the tapes already available to the grand jury? The information is no different, why do they have to hear it live from him, when the questions aren't about Nazario, they are about his own conduct?"), the Judge had made up his mind.

Sgt. Nelson was put back in custody. His whole body language and demeanor changed - from a handsome, proud Marine to a dejected man.

Despite this judge being appointed by President Bush - it is clear that   one can never know what kind of a judge he'll be. Since he will be the presiding judge in this grand jury case against Nazario, he wants this case to go forward - who knows why, his own career advancement, or whatever.

Mr. Low will proceed to file appeals and fight on, it isn't going to   be pretty. After the trial a local journalist asked who we were. We simply   said we had heard about the case from someone close to the military and that   we want to support a man who has fought very hard to defend our lives.

Right now what we need are letters to Sgt. Jermaine Nelson, anything to pick up his spirits. Mr. Low is more than happy to accept email letters and take them over to him. As soon as he knows where to send snail mail, we can also send packages. If there are visiting days (which would   probably be weekends) then despite the drive to San Bernardino - it will be very worth while doing.

Sgt. Nelson said he loves our green t-shirts, he wears it every day under his uniform. Hopefully he'll be out and back in uniform soon, [and] that is something to consider sending him as well.

So the fight goes on, a wonderful, strong, young man who has served our country with honor needs our help. I think we're up to the task.


First, and most important, you can send me emails for Sergeant Nelson (put NELSON in the subject line) and I will get them to him via his attorney.  They mean the world to him and those of you who have sent them have made a huge difference.

Next, here is the contact info for Judge Larson, including personal email and phone number, and partial bio's.  Please send a professional message to the Judge and the Clerk about the travesty of locking up a Sergeant of Marines with drug dealers and gang members for refusing to testify. 

1) Contact info for Judge Larson and his Courtroom Deputy Clerk:

Name: Stephen C. Larson
Phone: (909) 328-4410
E-mail: [email protected].gov
Class: 1989
Agency: United States District Court
Location: Riverside, CA
Position: United States Magistrate Judge

[found at:]

The best way to contact the Judge Larson's Courtroom Deputy Cerk, James Holmes, is:
1. by calling (951) 328-4464; if the clerk does not answer the phone, be sure to leave a voice-mail message; or
2. by emailing [email protected].

[found at:]

2) Judge Larson partial bio's---