Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin, an Army doctor who refused to deploy to Afghanistan because he questioned whether President Barack Obama was born in the U.S., pleaded guilty to one of two charges against him at a court martial proceeding on Tuesday.
Lakin pleaded guilty to a charge that included not meeting with a superior when ordered to do so and not reporting for duty at Fort Campbell, reported The Republic. He’ll face up to 18 months in prison and dismissal from the Army, the newspaper reported.
Lakin pleaded not guilty on another charge that he missed a flight he was required to be on, and his court-martial at Fort Meade in Maryland is continuing on that count.
Lakin’s guilty plea won’t erase his challenge to the president’s legitimacy, Stars and Stripes reported. About 30 so-called “birthers” attended Lakin’s hearing, where they handed out pamphlets with a picture of Obama labeled “usurper” and “ineligible,” the newspaper said.
Lakin maintained that there are questions about Obama’s presidency but said he shouldn’t have refused to report, Stars and Stripes said.
“I was praying and soul searching,” Lakin said. “I believed there was a question that needs to be answered to ensure a valid chain of command. But I had asked every question, done everything else I could short of disobeying orders, without success.”