FORT HOOD — An Article 32 hearing for Spc. Curtis Davis of the 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command, wrapped up Wednesday afternoon amid a whirlwind of conflicting testimony.
Military prosecutors seek to charge Davis, 21, with attempted murder in connection with a June shooting in an on-post housing community. If convicted, Davis could face life in prison without parole.
Prosecutors also seek to charge Davis with conspiracy, violation of a lawful order, a false official statement, aggravated assault and general article.
An Article 32 hearing is a preliminary hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence to move forward with particular charges and a court-martial.
According to witness testimony, Davis and five fellow soldiers went to the Liberty Village basketball court about 8:30 p.m. June 3.
An altercation subsequently broke out between Davis and a 19-year-old civilian man, whom Davis suspected of burglarizing his home before the incident.
Witnesses said Davis pistol-whipped the victim in the face with his revolver and shouted, “Thought I forgot?” and “Now what, (expletive)?”
Davis then fired three shots at the man at close range, according to testimony.
Davis and several friends subsequently fled the scene in a red Dodge Charger.
In a statement to investigators, Davis said he gave a friend the weapon the next day at a gas station near the Clear Creek Gate.
The victim suffered two gunshots wounds — one to his buttocks and another to his right shin — and was taken to a nearby hospital after authorities arrived at the scene.
“Several witnesses also said the (victim) was also seen with a firearm,” said Capt. Jason Marquez, the military defense lawyer representing Davis, while describing the night of the shooting.
Marquez, who said Davis could have been acting in self-defense, asked if the investigating officers had done a criminal background check on the victim.
Witness and criminal investigator Sgt. Steven Heines said they had not.
“The fact that he came to the basketball court with a loaded weapon in his pocket suggests he did not come to just play basketball,” said Capt. Sara Hansen, lead military prosecutor, laying out the facts for Davis’ premeditated intent in an alleged attempted murder.
“You can absolutely shoot someone with no design to kill,” said Marquez, pointing out Davis was 6 feet away when he fired. “The shots were fired at (the victims’) limbs and towards the ground.”
Maj. Claire McCallis, investigative officer, who the defense said had no legal experience, presided over the hearing and was appointed by Col. Timothy Luedecking, commander of the 4th Sustainment Brigade.
At the beginning of the hearing, it was announced that Davis’ lead civilian defense counsel pulled out at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday. The defense asked for a delay that night, but it wasn’t granted.
Marquez said an objection to the hearing will be filed today, because no commanding officer was notified of the defense’s request for a delay.
Military prosecutors requested Davis’ associates remain unnamed as charges are pending as a result of their statements given during the investigation.
Col. Rodney Fogg, commander of the 13th Sustainment Command, will decide if there is enough evidence to move forward with a court-martial.
Contact Courtney Griffin at email@example.com or 254-501-7559