Hearing begins for 3 Marines accused of hazing
A military court hearing for three Marines accused of hazing a fellow Marine who later committed suicide in Afghanistan focused Thursday on whether the accused intended to harm the deceased or discipline him so he would stop falling asleep while on watch duty, according to an Associated Press story.
Sgt. Benjamin E. Johns, Lance Cpl. Carlos Orozco III and Lance Cpl. Jacob D. Jacoby are charged with "wrongfully humiliating and demeaning" 21-year-old Lance Cpl. Harry Lew, of Santa Clara, Calif., who shot himself with a machine gun April 3 in the Helmand province of Afghanistan.
Lew had been caught sleeping on duty multiple times at the remote Gowragi Patrol Base close to Taliban positions.
The commanding officer of the platoon testified Thursday that he didn't think Jacoby was hazing Lew when he punched and kicked Lew's body armor after the Marine was caught sleeping on watch again. "I think Lance Corporal Jacoby lost his temper," said 1st Lt. Jameson Payne.
"I think he was upset Lance Cpl. Lew was jeopardizing everyone's lives."