Written by: Mark Seraceni; Watch Now: – Sorry, not available on Amazon
Seaman Oliver Celluchi was seen to go overboard the USS Benjamin Harrison; but, was dead when the rescue boat arrived. He was found to have been bludgeoned and choked before going over the side, and a small piece of cloth was found in his belt buckle. His shipmates said that he had been a screw-up and a ‘puddin’ – meanind that you could push him around with a spoon. JAG officers Harm (H) and Bud (B) had to endure ‘full-of-himself’ Captain Archambault’s rant about “doing better than their best and get the killer off MY ship.” They then reported to him Duell’s animosity and that he had been seen on the catwalk before the incident; but, had to refuse the captain’s offer to attend their interview “so as to put the fear of God into him.” Duell denied ever going to the catwalk or having anything to do with the incident. Meanwhile, the Capt. illegally searched Duell’s locker and found a torn shirt. Mattoni, defense, motioned to have the shirt excluded and the Capt. pestered H to tell him “what to say” on the stand so the shirt wouldn’t be excluded. Harm, annoyed, told him to tell the truth. Then the Captain lied anyway to deliberately misled Mattoni by saying that H had told him of Duell’s lie before he searched. So, Mattoni called H as a witness and made public Archambault’s lie. Bud’s cross-examination of H tried to show “inevitable discovery” but the judge disallowed the evidence although wouldn’t dismiss the case.
Bud searched records from Duell’s previous ships and found two previous filed charges of harassment. Seaman Chuck Gaynor had gone “overboard” the USS Bar Harbor while Duell was there and Fred Mirvis went overboard the Assateague when Duell was there as well. Seaman Harbinson testified that Duell was, in fact, on the catwalk 5 minutes before the murder and requested transfer because he was afraid of Duell. Celluchi had been given loading drills all night with live rounds – for punishment. PO Canton testified that he had worked with Duell on the Assateague. Duell had them stand at attention holding 25# boxes of C-4 explosives in each hand. Mirvis had dropped the box and started to cry, which drew Duell’s anger. Canton also brought up that Mirvis had gone overboard, to which Mattoni flew off the handle demanding a mistrial. Harm was allowed to have a forensic investigator testify to the judge before he decided. In Duell’s hearing the investigator said the murderer profiled small, young, immature, inexperienced men with poor service records. He said the murderer was a highly organized victim of a delusional disorder who would feel justified in what he was doing. Duell sat smugly until H began restating that he was deranged and crazy.
When H was allowed to continue, Mattoni grandstanded by bringing in Charles Gaynor who was actually alive and only had gone UA. Then Mattoni fought to keep H from having him testify. Gaynor said that he had gone UA because Duell had tried to kill him. He was holding him over the rail of the fan-tail and only let go because Gaynor pee’d on him. He yelled so loudly that another person heard and he was able he fled. Gaynor hid for 8 days then jumped ship because if no one believed him “Duell would have killed me.” Duell just glared at him with a smug look. Back at the trial, Mattoni called Duell who lied through his teeth: he claimed that it had only been ‘dummy’ C-4 and only 10 pounds, and that he had caught Gaynor asleep. He denied killing Celluchi. Harm cross-examined him and began by massaging his ego. He got agreeing with him that the navy was letting in screw-up’s. Duell said that it was his job to “weed them out”; but, when the examination got to a rapid pitch and H led with “you took matters into your own hands” he stopped short with a smug look that he had “bested” H’s lawyer tricks. Then, by pre-arrangement, H deferred to B who acted the buffoon, repeating questions, stumbling, dropping papers, etc. He deliberately got Duell upset then dropped papers on him again asking “what did ‘Ka-luchi’ ever do to you?” Duell shot back with “some people don’t belong in the US Navy (referring to B).” Bud surreptitiously said “no but the navy won’t kill them” and Duell blurted “no but somebody has to.” Bud raised up and calmly said “somebody has to, sir.” Duell’s smug look disappeared.
Gaynor was given an “other than honorable” discharge and Duell a psych eval. He thought that the navy wanted him to kill the screw-up’s and that’s why he had been given his last promotion. Harm told M that Duell would spend the rest of his life either in Leavenworth or in a mental hospital.
Chegwidden (C) complained about his sore back from his tiny rental car. When Mac talked to him about her defense of a Bigamist, C told her that “people tend to hang onto relationships even after they are over.” “Look at me,” he said, “I’m still hanging onto that crappy rent-a-car (after Dr. Walden’s relationship was over).” He then went to the car dealer that sold Harriet her van and talked about buying a high-end van. When the greedy salesman offered 10% discount for military personnel, C pointed to the real one he wanted.
Mac was assigned to defend a bigamist. Wife #1 said she “owed everything” to her husband who supported her in getting her commercial pilot’s license. She wanted M to help him plea bargain out of the MC so they could be together. Wife #2 said it was the MC’s fault for forcing her husband to live a double life. He had also helped her with her career. Mac was dumfounded at their lack of outrage – she was feeling it for them, despite being his defense. She wanted to get a psychologist to testify that Staff Sgt Hart had a sexual compulsive disorder. Hart said “no” then tried to act seductively to M. Completely unexpectedly wife #3 showed up with two kids! Nothing was finished about this case except for Mac commiserating with H that maybe Hart could do time in Leavenworth with Duell.