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Airman Found Not Guilty

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Airman Bryan Roney has been found not guilty on all charges.

As you may remember, Roney, 20, was being court-martialed at the Air Force base in Qatar for a list of what in the civilian world would have been “minor” charges. In the military, however, these would have ended his career. The charge sheet cited larceny (stealing $28.00 in mini-bottles of alcohol from the base lounge), drinking more than three drinks in one day, drinking in an unauthorized location and possession of a controlled substance.

Roney’s court-martial began yesterday, including testimony from the two main accusers, Airman First Class Russell Hopko and Airman First Class David Baker. The two airmen, who are roommates, stated under oath that Roney had stolen alcohol from the base lounge, drinking it with Baker later that night. They also claimed that Roney had badgered Hopko into giving him one of his prescribed morphine pills, which they say Roney then ingested.

His family is awaiting more details but they heard from Bryan a few hours ago, who said that attorney Phil Cave was “outstanding…He really tore those guys up.” I doubt it was difficult, since those guys were quite obviously lying.

So how was Roney found not guilty? Simple. He wasn’t there.

A base sign-in log for one of the dates in question shows that Roney signed into base at 1704. According to the statements by Baker and Hopko, Roney was with them at the time, bothering Hopko for morphine and doing other naughty things.

There are many more holes in the story, some of which are just not coming out. However, even if they don’t all come out to the public eye, Soon-to-be Airman 1st Class Bryan Roney has been vindicated.

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About Kit Jarrell

  • RJ

    Hmm. If these two airmen were lying, I wonder what sparked their disdain for Airman Roney…

  • Well, the chief accuser was in hot water himself after being caught with alcohol in his shaving kit. That’s how he came to be in the police station being questioned in the first place. In an attempt to save his own butt, he threw Roney’s name up as the sacrificial lamb. Hopko went along with the story to back up his friend, since as Hopko put it, “Baker has a wife and kids to think about.”

  • RJ


  • RJ

    But of all the people he could have cowardly blamed for this, why Airman Roney? There must have been some mutual dislike between the two for him to be falsely accused like this…

  • That’s one thing I never quite figured out in covering the story. No mutual girlfriends, no pool table debts, nothing. Perhaps it ended up being just a case of “I need to save my own ass….who can I give them…Roney.” You know, first name coming to mind. Who knows.

  • RJ

    Hmm. Perhaps.

    But isn’t it usually something more than that?

    Is there anything potentially racial or ethnic here?

  • I would not have an idea about that. I know Roney is white, but I have no idea what the race is of the others involved. To be honest, I wouldn’t think it would be the motivating factor. I mean, you’re talking about an airman that had NOTHING derogatory in his record, before and during his military service. What would make you go towards the race idea? I’m curious.

  • RJ

    I’m just saying. Why lie about someone else to get them in trouble, unless there is a motivating factor involved? Did they just not get along? Was there a physical altercation in the past? An argument over a woman? A race thing? An ethnicity thing? A religion thing?

    Or was it truly random?

    I am just curious…

  • Your guess is as good as mine. I should have an interview with oney in a few days. i’ll ask him. 😉

  • RJ

    I’m looking forward to it! 🙂

  • SFC Ski

    “Why lie about someone else to get them in trouble..?” C’mon, RJ, if you think it might save your hide, the question answers itself.

    Possession of alcohol outside of allowed areas is punsihable under military law, and this airman knew it, got caught and hoped to shift blame onto someone else. If all the ranks are correct as reported, then the two Airmen First Class (A1C), also placed blame on a lower ranking Airman (AMN), alos inexcusable.

    BTW, Kit, it’s a good idea to print the full military rank with an abbreviation following, most civilian readers are not familiar with them.

  • Pamela Roney

    Thanks Kit for telling our son’s story. To all of you out there that believed in our son, Thank you. To all of you that were skeptical, I hope that you are never in my husband and my shoes. Our son has been vindicated and I don’t give a crap why Airman 1C Baker and Hopko lied about our son! I do know this, what comes around goes around. They picked the wrong guy to lie about. That’s what happens when you spend so much time raising your children to not take any crap from anyone. Even if it is the U.S. We have been invested in our children’s lives from day one, and are still to this day. This whole mess has taken a toll on our family, but we came through it! Our son deserves so much credit for his own defense. He personally had to research and locate the evidence to prove his innocence. Everyone he knew in Qatar had left. We feel that at age 20 this is quite an accomplishment for him, and something that most men of his age couldn’t handle. The rest of the thanks go to Mr. Philip Cave from Alexandria, VA. Bryan said that he was outstanding! So, to those of you that need legal help in the military or know someone that does, we HIGHLY recommend him. He travels everywhere! His website is http://www.court-martial.com. Thanks Mr. Cave. God Bless our troops!
    Pamela & Charles Roney
    Proud Parents of Airman Bryan Roney soon to be Airman 1C Roney (He gets to put his stripe on that he was supposed to put on March 24, 2005)

  • jean

    Regarding question by RJ why Roney was the sacrificial lamb…Roney worked at the DEL and Baker was caught with alcohol in his room. Stands to reason he had to get it from someone who worked at the DEL. Baker wasn’t about to give up the name of his buddy who gave it to him…thus he gave up

  • Hey SFC Ski:

    Thanks much for pointing that out. On my blog, most of my readers are military. Here obviously they are not. Thanks for the reminder. I’ll get ‘er edited here momentarily. 😉

  • SFC Ski

    No problem, it’s hard to remember switch gears depending on the audience, what would we be without acronyms?

  • RJ

    “Why lie about someone else to get them in trouble..?” C’mon, RJ, if you think it might save your hide, the question answers itself.

    No, I understand the concept of shifting blame onto others. But why this particular individual? Why would two people both lie and attack this one person?

    That’s where my interest in this lies…

  • SFC Ski

    Well, he’s lower ranking, likely more recently arrived at that assignment, less known, so the other two probably thought that they could play the system.

  • jrc

    To RJ’s comments, Roney is lower ranking and worked at the only place on the installation that has the liquor Baker was busted with in his room. Hopko is his roommate and was stationed with him in Japan and was his roommate there too. Stands to reason that your buddy is going to help you concoct a story to save your butt. Give the OSI info on a crime worse than yours and you get a deal. Then add that Roney had a sign in sheet from the security police proving he wasn’t with them at the time they said he was begging for morphine and drinking. Did you read the whole story?