- Ernest Medina
Infobox Military Person
name= Ernest Medina
born= Birth date and age|1936|8|27
Springer, New Mexico
caption= Captain Ernest Medina
allegiance= United States of America
United States Army
commands= Company C, 1/20 Americal
Battalion, 20th Infantryof the 11th Brigade, Americal Division
Ernest Lou Medina (born
August 27, 1936) was a Captain in the United States Armyduring the Vietnam War. He was the commanding officer of Company C, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantryof the 11th Brigade, Americal Division, the unit responsible for the My Lai Massacreof 1968.
Ernest Medina comes from a Mexican-American family in Springer, New Mexico. He was known as a "tough, able soldier" who had excelled as an NCO and graduated fourth in his class of two hundred at
Officer Candidate Schoolat Fort Benning, Georgia.
According to the 1970 investigation by General
William R. Peers, Medina [ [http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/mylai/medina.html Peers Report: Captain Ernest Medina] ] :
* Informed his men that any of the residents in Son My Village might be
Viet Congor sympathizers. This caused many of the men in his company to believe they would find only armed enemy in the hamlets and directly contributed to the killing of noncombatants which followed.
* Planned, ordered, and supervised the execution by his company of an unlawful operation against inhabited hamlets in Son My Village, which included the destruction of houses by burning, killing of livestock, and the destruction of crops and other foodstuffs, and the closing of wells; and impliedly directed the killing of any persons found there.
* Possibly personally killed as many as three noncombatants in My Lai.
* Actively suppressed information concerning the killing of noncombatants in Son My Village.
Captain Medina was court martialed in 1971 for willingly allowing his men to murder My Lai noncombatants. [ [ http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/mylai/MYL_MED2.HTM Judge Howard's summary of the evidence surrounding the crucial question of knowledge in United States v. Captain Ernest L. Medina] ] Medina's defense team, led by
F. Lee Bailey, alleged that he did not become aware that his troops were out of control until it was too late.
Medina was ultimately found
not guiltyof all charges relating to the massacre. Nevertheless, his military career was finished. Lieutenant William Calley, a platoonleader serving in Medina's company during the massacre and who claimed he was following orders from Medina, was found guiltyof various crimes. Calley ultimately served 3½ years of house arrestin his quarters at Fort Benning, Georgia and was released in 1974 by a federal judge.
After resigning from the Army, Medina went to work at an
Enstrom Helicopter Manufacturing Companyplant owned by Bailey in Menominee, Michigan. [ [http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/mylai/myl_bmedi.html Biography of Ernest L. Medina] ] . He is assistant governor in the Rotary International organization.
* [http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/mylai/myl_bmedi.html Biography of Ernest Medina]
* [http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/mylai/MYL_MEDT.HTM Court Martial Documents]
* [http://specialcollections.wichita.edu/collections/ms/74-27/74-27-A.HTML Trial Transcript]
* [http://www.crimelibrary.com/notorious_murders/mass/lai/trial_11.html INTO THE DARK: THE My Lai Massacre]
* [http://www.trial-ch.org/trialwatch/profiles/en/facts/p144.html Ernest Medina] Trial Watch
* [http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/mylai/mylai.htm Famous American Trials - The My Lai Courts-Martial 1970]
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