Lt. Col. Fred Flynn is a disabled veteran who served tours both in Iraq and in Afghanistan. Earlier this month, at the Bannock County Courthouse, Flynn was asked to leave the courtroom by the judge because he was wearing his Army uniform.
Flynn had no problem leaving silently however he admitted to reporters that doing so left him feeling outraged and downright humiliated. He also was extremely disappointed in the judge that the only reason he was asked to leave was because he was wearing his Army uniform.
“I had to leave a courtroom that is based on the very Constitution that I served to protect”.
It was the Sixth District Judge, David C. Nye, that eventually came forward and announced that he was forced to ask Flynn to leave the courtroom during the jury trial of another military veteran because the judge felt as though members of the jury could have been influenced by Flynn’s uniform.
Although Flynn currently resides in South Carolina, he had traveled to Pocatello in order to attend the jury trial for Dustin Sweeney who Flynn knew to be a local veteran of the war in Iraq.
“I wanted (Sweeney) to know that his fellow veterans were behind him through thick and thin,” Flynn said.
Sweeney was found guilty of possession and delivery of methamphetamine during the trial.
Sweeney is also being held for a handful of other charges, the most serious including charges that pertain to Sweeney allegedly shooting his brother in the leg.
Upon hearing about Sweeney’s charges, his former comrades joined together and held a fundraiser in order to raise money, so Sweeney could hire a professional attorney. Due to his comrade’s help, Sweeney was able to hire attorney Kelly Kumm to represent him.
“Now our fundamental disagreement (with the prosecution) is whether he should be sent to prison or if he should get some kind of help,” Kumm said.