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Military Mom Update: Army Files Criminal Charges for Refusing Deployment

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By Kamika Dunlap on January 13, 2010 12:44 PM

Military mom Spc. Alexis Hutchinson who refused to deploy to Afghanistan, claiming she had no one to care for her infant son, now faces criminal charges and potentially a military court-marshal.

According to the Associated Press, the Army has filed criminal charges against Hutchinson, a 21-year-old Army cook. She possibly faces a prison sentence and a dishonorable discharge if she is convicted by a court-martial.

The way it works is that charges have been filed, but now an officer will be appointed to decide if there's enough evidence to try a case against her.

As previously discussed, Hutchinson of Oakland, CA refused to deploy to Afghanistan with the rest of her unit on Nov. 5. She claimed she had no one to keep for her 10-month old baby.

All single-parent soldiers are required by the Army to submit a care plan for dependent children before they can deploy to a combat zone.

Hutchinson had such a plan. Her mother, Angelique Hughes, had agreed to care for the boy. Hughes said she kept the boy for about two weeks in October before deciding she couldn't keep him for a full year.

Since 9/11, 30,000 single mothers have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan according to a report released last month.

Hutchinson was arrested for skipping her unit's flight. She was confined to the boundaries of Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah.

Hutchinson's son, Kamani was placed with child welfare officials.

Her attorney, Rai Sue Sussman, said she hopes the case can be settled without a military trial.

Army officials are charging Hutchinson with the following offenses:

  • Missing movement (for missing her overseas flight);
  • Being absent without leave;
  • Dereliction of duty; and
  • Insubordinate conduct.

The stiffest charge, missing movement, carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison and a dishonorable discharge.

 

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