Charges possible for Camp Lejeune shooting
By CHRISTOPHER THOMAS | The (Jacksonville N.C.) Daily News | Published: April 12, 2014
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — Charges against a Camp Lejeune Marine sentry accused of fatally shooting a fellow Marine on guard duty this week are "forthcoming," according to investigators.
Lance Cpl. Mark N. Boterf, 21, of Crowley, Texas, was shot once in the chest by a M4 rifle on Tuesday at approximately 5:30 p.m. He was taken to Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune where he was pronounced dead approximately 40 minutes later.
The alleged shooter was taken into custody the same day.
Marine officials said the shooting was likely due to a negligent discharge on the part of the suspect, who has not yet been publicly identified by investigators since the investigation is still ongoing. According to Joe Kennedy, special agent-in-charge for the Naval Criminal Investigation Service Carolina Field Office, his agency is working with the Legal Service Support Section on Camp Lejeune on drawing up charges against the Marine. Kennedy said no official charges have been filed but that they are "forthcoming" against the Marine. Kennedy said there is no time table on when the charges will be filed.
Boterf, one of 10 children, enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2012, joining two of his other siblings, according to media reports. His twin brother said he underwent surgery to correct a hernia and then pushed himself to pass the required fitness tests.
"He excelled at the (physical) standards," his twin brother Michael Stephen told The Associated Press in a phone call Thursday. "It is three pull-ups; he could do 20. To be able to do that, so quickly after surgery, he made an example."
Boterf and the other Marine were both on sentry duty at the time of the shooting, a position that is occupied by a mix of active duty Marines, military police officers and members of the Camp Lejeune civilian police force, which has been responsible for sentry duty since 2008. Those on sentry duty are charged with guarding and defending parts of the base, including the base's armory, barracks and front gates.
According to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune Public Affairs Director Nat Fahy, the mix of the three officials depends on on the needs of the base at a particular time. Fahy said that Marines on sentry duty differ from law enforcement officers who take the same post since they are not authorized to investigate criminal matters, though they are required to report all violations.
Fahy said Marines are taught during their initial stages of training many of the basic requirements for sentry duty, including how to handle a firearm safely, and are required to go through two weeks of sentry duty training before taking their post, which is temporary. The two weeks of training include learning the physical make up of the gate they're ordered to defend.
"They are responsible for protecting more than 57,000 Marines and their families," Fahy said. "They are responsible to ensure 26,000 commuters are able to safely pass through the gates while protecting the installation."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.