UPDATE January 17, 2020: Capt. John Nettleton was found guilty of obstructing justice, concealing information, falsifying records and making false statements in connection with the death of Christopher Tur. What the sentence was, we are waiting to hear.
The Navy transferred the case to the Department of Justice instead of convening a court martial for Captain Nettleton. In this way many military charges were not prosecuted such as conduct up becoming an officer, adultery, dereliction of duty, etc. etc. Why the Navy decided not to court martial Capt. Nettleton has never been satisfactorily answered.
Lara Tur is the wife of a man who was found dead at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Her husband, Christopher Tur was a former Marine working as a civilian on the base. Lara Tur was having an affair with the base commander, Capt. John Nettleton.
The last time we checked, adultery, murder and conduct unbecoming an officer were violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).
At this point, it’s pretty clear the base commander and Lara Tur were doing curly cues under the sheets, but whether Capt. Nettleton was involved somehow in the death of her husband is yet unproven. Christopher Tur was found dead, floating in the water near the base. Cause-of-death has not been made public.
Lara Tur reported her husband missing on the same day that his body was found. At the time of Christopher Tur’s death, the couple had been married nineteen years and had two daughters together.
Lara Tur worked on the base as the director of the Fleet and Family Services Center at Gitmo. Chris Tur worked on the base as the loss prevention officer for the commissary. He was a former Marine.
The last we heard, Capt. Nettleton was temporarily reassigned to the staff of Commander, Navy Region Southeast in Jacksonville
WHAT IS SO INTERESTING ABOUT THIS CASE?
As is always the method, the military reassigns the person or persons involved in a crime, as they begin to circle the wagons to protect the good name and reputation of the involved branch of service and military as a whole.
The military normally does what it can to downplay, obfuscate, ignore, destroy evidence, and do whatever it takes to make sure the American public will forget anything happened. But sometimes, military investigators have no choice but to report what happened when they have the family of the deceased breathing down their necks.
For some unknown reason, the military was either unable or unwilling to keep this one under wraps. The military method of keeping things under control is to ignore everything for about two years, then suddenly and very quietly, usher Captain Nettleton out the backdoor into retirement with a big smile on his face.
Could it be the Navy already knows the depth of Nettleton’s involvement and they didn’t want to risk secretly retiring the Captain, only to have the whole darn thing blowup in their faces?
It’s interesting to note Nettleton is not going to a general court-martial, but rather to a civilian court. Is it a matter of jurisdiction, or did the Navy just pass this hot potato to the civilians to handle so they could avoid any responsibility for the administration of justice?
It’s not leadership, it’s politics. If they court-martialed the Captain, they would find themselves, politically speaking, in a NO-WIN situation. So, instead of demonstrating real leadership and responsibility, the Navy chose to turn it over to a civilian federal court.
If Christopher Tur was murdered on base, it would seem the military would and should assert jurisdiction and file charges to bring Nettleton to a general court-martial. If Nettleton was forced to confront a jury in a general court-martial, he could be either shot at sunrise or carted off to Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.
We already know the military feels uncomfortable imprisoning a captain or colonel in the detention barracks at Ft. Leavenworth. The military prefers to avoid this at all costs.
HERE’S WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON
By moving the case against Capt. Nettleton to a civilian court means Captain Nettleton will receive little or no punishment, because there is usually no law against adultery and conduct unbecoming in the civilian court system. It’s doubtful he will be punished for lying about an affair.
Capt. Nettleton’s lawyer will mockingly say to the jury, ‘All men lie about affairs they had. That’s normal. Our own Congress, for example, has a large slush-fund established to payoff victims who have been sexually assaulted by Members of Congress.
In other words, Capt. Nettleton’s conduct isn’t that bad, and no one knows how Christopher Tur died. Our client is guilty only of trying to protect his sterling military career and we therefore ask you to thank Capt. Nettleton for his military service by finding our client not-guilty of these so-called crimes.’
Occasionally, you’ll see archaic laws against adultery, drinking on a Sunday and bringing your horse into town, but they are notoriously ignored. The Navy knows this. Because of the differences between a civilian and military court, Capt. Nettleton will probably be given a pass on all of it.
His lawyers will plea to the jury that their client was in panic mode and attempting to protect his sterling career from the embarrassment of an illicit love affair. After all, ladies and gentlemen, what you see before you is a war hero and should therefore be found not-guilty.
A star-struck civilian jury, mesmerized by the whole “war hero” malarkey, may indeed find Capt. John Nettleton not guilty. If that happens, the military will have dodged another public-relations bullet and the concept of equal-justice-under-law will have been tossed in the crapper once again.
A JURY OF HIS PEERS – WHAT A JOKE
Once found not guilty in a civilian court, the military will move with great stealth to quietly retire Capt. John Nettleton. We can expect the Navy to spout out the following response if they get caught ushering Nettleton out the backdoor into retirement, ‘the captain was found not guilty by a “jury of his peers,” and because of double jeopardy, we have no interest in any further legal action against Captain Nettleton.’
Capt. John Nettleton, if found not guilty, will ultimately retire on full military pay and benefits. A trial in a civilian court is an honor not bestowed on those in the lower ranks. Except for some embarrassment and a few legal bills, Capt. Nettleton will have gotten off scot-free.
But we beg to differ. A CIVILIAN JURY IS NOT A JURY OF HIS PEERS. Civilian juries are comprised of butchers, bakers and candlestick makers who have absolutely no concept of military rules and regulations, or the importance of the good order and conduct of any military unit.
By transferring the case to a civilian court, the Navy enabled Capt. Nettleton to possibly escape those standards of higher conduct required of all military members (except flag-ranking officers who are allowed to retire to avoid prosecution).
By not bringing Capt. Nettleton to a general court martial, unique military charges that all other military members are subjected to completely disappear.
We refer to charges the military frequently invokes, but the civilians do not, that includes but is not limited to charges such as adultery and conduct unbecoming an officer, etc. etc.
The Navy knows they are doing Captain Nettleton a great service by sending his case to a civilian court. But the transfer to a civilian court does those who believe in the rule-of-law a great disservice.
The United States Navy suffers from a bad case of “convenient ethics” as they craftily maneuver to protect the Navy from an embarrassing episode where a navy captain was having sex with the wife of an enlisted man.
ON THE CASE FROM THE VERY BEGINNING
From the very beginning Major Glenn MacDonald, who was not only an Army major, but was also a beat reporter in New York who reported on many crime cases. He instinctively knew there was a lot more to this story than anyone knew.
Major Mac worked hundreds of hours and posted as many as six comprehensive articles on the mystery of Christopher Tur’s death. He was frequently communicating with the Tur family to expose military corruption. Trust us, the United States Navy was desperate to cover-up the salacious details of this case.
Major Mac asked the Tur family if they would be interested in donating to help keep MilitaryCorruption.com online so we could continue our investigation. Suddenly and sadly, the Tur family cut off communications with Major Mac after he made the request.
We encourage our readers to keep their eye on this particular case. Will the civilians give the base commander a pass and let him plea bargain his way out with little or no punishment for attempting to deceive investigators and cover-up his criminal misconduct and pathetic brand of leadership?
If Capt. John Nettleton is convicted at a civilian court of misdemeanor offenses, will the Navy quietly allow him to retire at the rank of captain? We will watch this case together and find out if the Navy’s two-tiered justice system does anything at all to hold Captain Nettleton accountable.
We can assure you that if the accused was some poor enlisted man or a junior officer, the military would quickly move in to make sure the accused would feel the full wrath of military justice. If they could not convene a court against the accused, they would administratively discharge the accused with a discharge that would be less-than-honorable. We guarantee it.
THE MOST RECENT INFORMATION WE HAVE AT THIS POINT…
By Vic Micolucci – I-TEAM at News-4-Jacksonville, FL
A former commander of the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay now stationed at NAS Jacksonville has been charged with obstructing justice and nine other offenses related to the 2015 death of a civilian who worked at the Cuban base.
Navy Capt. John Nettleton also has been charged with concealing material facts related to Christopher Tur’s death. Tur, 42, was found dead in the waters off the base on Jan. 10, a day after he had been reported missing by his wife Lara, also a civilian employee at the base.
A federal indictment said Nettleton, 53, hid the fact that he was having an affair with Lara Tur and that the men had a fight the night of Tur’s disappearance. Nettleton was relieved of his command at the Cuban base after Tur’s body was found.
Chris and Lara TurThe medical examiner determined that Tur drowned, but also found a head laceration and fractured ribs, injuries consistent with him being in a fight.
Nettleton commanded the Navy base but not the detention center where accused terrorists are held.
Since Nettleton was relieved of his duties by Rear Admiral Mary Jackson, who cited “loss of confidence in command,” he has been on administrative duty at NAS Jacksonville. When the indictment was unsealed Wednesday, Nettleton turned himself in to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which transported him to federal court.
In addition to two counts of obstruction of justice and one count of concealing material facts, Nettleton is charged with five counts of making false statements and two counts of falsifying records.
If convicted of all counts, Nettleton could face up to 10 years in prison and a $2.5 million fine.
At a hearing Wednesday afternoon, prosecutors did not seek detention of Nettleton, but the judge ordered him to surrender his passport, not leave Florida and have no contact with government witnesses or anyone referenced in the indictment.
A trial is tentatively scheduled for May 6, 2019.