An Enid native is doing everything he can to help clear the name of convicted Army Green Beret Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart.
These efforts can be found in “Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight For Military Justice” — Bob McCarty’s first book. McCarty, a political blogger, was inspired to research and write the book when he read Stewart’s story in a publication.
Stewart was convicted of raping a woman while stationed in Germany and sentenced to eight years in military prison. The sentence eventually was reduced to three years.
The conviction ended a 14-year military career for Stewart, who spent time as a medic and Green Beret, and spent four years completing high-level national security missions in Iraq.
“He admits he made a bad decision in going back to his hotel with the woman, but he vehemently denies mistreating her,” McCarty said. “During the trial, it was her word against his. There was no physical evidence and no eyewitnesses.”
The woman who accused Stewart of rape waited three months before pressing charges.
One of the major problems with the trial, McCarty said, was the court-martial panel. The panel, or jury, was made up of 10 members of the military who had just returned from a 16-month deployment with the lead prosecutor on the case.
“Would you think you could get a real fair shake from a guy who had been embedded with the jurors for 16 months?” McCarty said.
Stewart spent most of his three-year sentence at Leavenworth (Kan.) Military Prison. He was paroled in March.
“All Kelly Stewart wants is a new trial where all the evidence is heard and where he can clear his name,” Stewart said. “A guy comes into the world with nothing and leaves it with nothing. One thing he can do is keep his name clear.”
Stewart has begun the process of appealing his case. McCarty said this could take from three weeks to a year.
McCarty, a 1980 Enid High School graduate who now lives in St. Louis, said he spent 18 months working on the book. He is the only reporter Stewart has spoken with about the case.
“I appreciate the fact that he has put his trust in me. As a writer, you come across stories you just can’t walk away from,” McCarty said.