September 9, 1971
To Appear at Medina's Trial
By Homer Bigart
Special to The New York Times
Ga., Sept. 8
William L. Calley Jr. Has been called as a defense witness in
the court-martial of Capt. Ernest L. Medina. He will be brought
here Friday or next week from Fort Benning, Ga., where he has
been confined to his bachelor apartment pending final appeal of
his conviction for murdering civilians at Mylai.
in a surprise move, named Lieutenant Calley and Col. Oran K. Henderson
among witnesses whose testimony could be helpful to Captain Medina,
who is on trial here charged with the responsibility in the murder
of at least 102 unarmed civilians in the South Vietnamese hamlet
of Mylai 4 on March 16, 1968.
agreed to produce Lieutenant Calley who was convicted last March
of the murder of 22 civilians at Mylai. After his conviction,
the White House ordered him removed from confinement in the stockade
pending an ultimate decision by Mr. Nixon.
said it would also produce Colonel Henderson if the colonel could
be made available. He is facing a court-martial at Fort Meade,
Md., for allegedly covering up the details of what took place
for Lieutenant Calley to appear as a witness startled the prosecution.
In his trial at Fort Benning, Lieutenant Calley had tried to shift
the blame for the killings at Mylai onto his company commander.
He testified that the civilians had been shot under orders from
appearing as a witness for that court, contradicted Lieutenant
Calley. The captain said he had never wanted indiscriminate killing
and that he ordered a cease-fire as soon as he became aware that
"innocent civilians" were being slain. F. Lee Bailey,
the Medina defense counsel, said he wanted to put Lieutenant Calley
on the stand because he had learned "through fortunate happenstance"
that Lieutenant Calley had "changed his story."
he added, might cause Lieutenant Calley to refuse to testify by
pleading the Fifth Amendment guarantee against self-incrimination.
"If Calley contradicts himself he could be tried for perjury
in his own case," Mr. Bailey said.
Medina is no longer charged with giving orders that resulted in
the killings of Mylai, Mr. Bailey apparently hoped to secure from
Lieutenant Calley testimony that would support the defense's contention
that Captain Medina was unaware of the killings until it was too
wouldn't be calling him [Calley] if [the contradictions] weren't
more favorable than the story he published." Mr. Bailey said.
The lawyer was referring to Lieutenant Calley's "confessions"
in Esquire magazine, a series of articles that, Mr. Bailey noted,
were "pretty consistent with what he testified to."
Mr. Bailey did not say how he learned of the alleged changes in
Lieutenant Calley's story. Mr. Calley's lawyer, George W. Latimer,
said in Salt Lake City that he was unaware of any contradictions.
is the first I ever heard of it," Mr. Latimer said. "It
may be that Mr. Bailey thinks he has something."
Mr. Bailey also asked the Government to subpoena Maj. Gen. Kenneth
J. Hudson, former Judge Advocate General of the Army who is chief
Judge of the United States Army Court of Military Review; Lieut.
Gen. Albert O'Connor, commanding general of the Third Army, who
convened the Medina court-martial, and Col. Wilson Freeman, who
recently retired as staff judge advocate of the Third Army.
These three presumably would be asked to testify in connection
with a lie detector test administered to Captain Medina last November
by Robert A. Brisenstine Jr., a polygraph expert of the Army's
Criminal Investigation Division.
Mr. Bailey's efforts to put the results of the test in evidence
have been frustrated by the Courts-Martial Manual, which says
that conclusions based on lie detector tests are inadmissible.
Maj. Charles C. Calhoun, who was operating officer of Task Force
Barker, the Americal Division unit involved in the Mylai assault,
said that sometime between 11:50 A.M. and 12:15 P.M. on the day
of the incident he transmitted an order to Captain Medina asking
him to insure that no civilians were hurt unnecessarily.
What was Captain Medina's response, Major Calhoun was asked.
rogered my message."
When the trial resumed this morning after an 11 day recess, the
five-man military court heard the depositions of two South Vietnamese
interpreters. These witnesses testified that Captain Medina, when
one of them asked why so many civilians were being killed, replied,