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United States v. Williamson

Navy-Marine Court of Criminal Appeals
42 M.J. 613 (1995)


Williamson (defendant) got into an argument with a superior petty officer in the engine room of their ship. The petty officer left the engine room. Williamson had a knife in his pocket and, after obtaining a second knife from a shipmate, left the engine room intending to find the petty officer and “hurt” him. Williamson never assaulted the petty officer. The evidence did not reveal whether Williamson was prevented or persuaded from assaulting the petty officer or voluntarily changed his mind. Williamson was charged with assault by attempted battery and convicted after he entered a guilty plea. Under court-martial law, a guilty plea must be supported by a factual basis sufficient to establish each element of the crime, and the appellate court was charged with determining whether the factual basis for assault by attempted battery was met.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Larson, C.J.)

Dissent (Welch, J.)

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