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Military officer court-martialed at Fort Bragg

Posted June 20, 2012

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— A court-martial began Wednesday at Fort Bragg for a member of the Army's Criminal Investigative Command, one of four military law enforcement officers accused of threatening the life of a civilian last year.

CW4 Scott Godwin is charged with violating a lawful order, unlawfully apprehending and arresting a civilian and depriving the individual of his rights under the color of the law.

Government prosecutors say Godwin, a chief warrant officer, directed the other agents to detain 28-year-old Vincent Sandifer for questioning relating to a purported threat made against another agent.

Sandifer's aunt, Sherry Trotter, however, says three officers, on the orders of Godwin, arrested Sandifer at his Spring Lake home on March 24, 2011, took him to a remote corner of Fort Bragg and threatened to kill him for having an affair with the wife of another officer.

"They had him sit down on the ground," Trotter said. "They had their guns, and one guy was constantly clicking the gun."

Fort Bragg Military officer court-martialed at Fort Bragg

After threatening his life, she says, the officers drove Sandifer back home, still in handcuffs, and warned him not to tell anybody about what had happened.

Sandifer's father later alerted authorities.

Trotter calls it an abuse of power and says that, more than a year later, Sandifer is still scared.

"It has been horrible. He's completely paranoid," she said. "He's completely watching over his shoulders. He has to have someone with him at all times."

Army officials have not elaborated on the case against Godwin or released the names of the three other officers or what charges they face in the case.

Trotter says another officer is scheduled to be court-martialed in August.

WRAL News tried to cover Wednesday's proceedings, but a Fort Bragg public affairs officer was not able to escort the crew on base, as required by the presiding judge's order.

The court-martial is expected to last until Friday.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • Statick Jun 27, 2012

    it sounds as if they took that scene from true lies ia little too literally .

  • timdavis Jun 22, 2012

    sandifer testified he was taking and not willing to go godwin gave a unlawful mission that was wrong and no one has been convicted of this crime double wrong. the wife of the solider or the solider never took the stand but kept being brought up in this case.yea sandifer loves rap music so what the defense claims sandifer has a gun charge but i did research on him and sandifer have no felonies at all.the only thing sandifer is guilty for is being a player sandifer civil rights where violated period.he can never trust law enforement for the rest of his life the army should be ashame of themselves god see everything

  • timdavis Jun 22, 2012

    sandifer was taking from his home over a woman not over threats show the transcripts sandifer isnt crying or asking no one to hold his hand the law is the law and these soliders took the law in there own hands and had there lie together before they went out to sandifer house a planned personal mission not a army mission.the sheriff dept had the case then the f.b.i gave it to the army sandifer kidnaper was granted immunity this is a total army cover up

  • joekathyjoekathy Jun 22, 2012

    soyousay,I agree ,dont mess with another mans woman,no problems,but if you do,DONT whine.. and look for someone else to be at fault, he should be grateful, they only had a talk with him..

  • soyousay Jun 21, 2012

    Don't have an affair with a married person and you won't have to face such consequences!!!
    ...just a guess, but in a civil society much less a military court that won't fly too far

  • piene2 Jun 21, 2012

    "Uhhh, no. A conviction by general court-martial is a federal felony. Mr. Godwin, if convicted, will never be able to own or possess a firearm anywhere in the US.
    Some Dude"

    I hate to burst your bubble but cops are above the law they are supposed to be enforcing. The laws that apply to us do not apply to them so they are free to do as they please.

  • RNmomX4 Jun 21, 2012

    "I agree with Wendellcatlover don't have a affair with a married person."

    Yep, especially if her husband carries a gun and dodges bullets for a living!

  • Bob3425 Jun 21, 2012

    Some Dude do you know how many felony have firearms, owning a firearm is the least of his problems that will result from a conviction. So far a the victim I agree with Wendellcatlover don't have a affair with a married person.

  • Wendellcatlover Jun 21, 2012

    This should not have happened by any means, but guess what? Don't have an affair with a married person and you won't have to face such consequences!!!

  • this is fdup Jun 20, 2012

    seems to me without a confession from one of the CID members or video evidence there is no case other than the victim's word I will say someone talked to save themselves.