Military Judge Col. Ferdinand D. Clervi rejected defense pleas to drop 9 of the 19 charges brought against former Sgt. Maj. McKinney. The judge offered no explanation for his ruling, and the defense proceeded directly with the testimony of McKinney’s wife of 26 years, Wilhemina McKinney.
Defense attorneys had expected Wilhemina McKinney to claim that she and her husband had a strong marriage. Instead, she admitted that their relationship was strained after the death of their 19-year-old son, but that they are closer now. Ms. McKinney did not contradict the testimony of her husband’s accusers.
Defense lawyers plan to call 82 witnesses to the stand in support of Sgt. Maj. McKinney. If convicted, McKinney faces 55 1/2 years in prison, loss of rank and retirement benefits.
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