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Last Marine involved in hazing trial found not guilty

By Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 03:42 p.m. HST, Feb 24, 2012


A military jury says a Marine is not guilty of hazing a fellow lance corporal who killed himself in Afghanistan.

The panel of three officers and five enlisted Marines found Lance Cpl. Carlos Orozco III not guilty at a court-martial Friday at Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

He was acquitted of charges involving the assault, cruel treatment and humiliation of Lance Cpl. Harry Lew, of Santa Clara, Calif. Lew was a nephew of U.S. Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif.
 
Lew fatally shot himself with his machine gun at their Afghanistan patrol base last April.
 
Orozco is the last of three Marines to be court-martialed for the alleged hazing of Lew. Another lance corporal last month pleaded guilty to assault. A jury found their squad leader not guilty of humiliating and demeaning Lew.
 
The 21-year-old Lew had fallen asleep on watch and patrol several times since he arrived at the base and joined the squad on March 23. He did so repeatedly even though Taliban fighters had fired on the base multiple times.
 
His leaders tried various approaches to keep him awake, including taking him off patrols so he could get more rest, according to testimony heard in court.
 
But the charges alleged those efforts escalated into alleged acts of violence and humiliation on Lew's last night.
 
The sergeant, Sgt. Benjamin Johns, ordered Lew to dig a foxhole deep enough for him to stand in so Lew could conduct watch standing up. He was charged with humiliating Lew with this order, but a military jury disagreed and found him not guilty. His lawyer told the jury an order isn't hazing if it's for something operationally necessary.
 
The judge in Johns' trial determined there wasn't evidence that the events of that night prompted Lew to kill himself, so the jury wasn't told he committed suicide. They were only told Lew had died.
 
The lance corporal who pleaded guilty to assault admitted punching and kicking Lew. Prosecutors agreed to drop hazing charges alleging that Lance Cpl. Jacob Jacoby, now a private first class, humiliated and threatened Lew.







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Ronin006 wrote:
Justice has been served.
on February 24,2012 | 03:10PM
iwanaknow wrote:
"Let's move on folks, there's nothing here to see, let's just keep that line moving"
on February 24,2012 | 03:17PM
Tarakian wrote:
Sorry for Lew taking his life and the lost of his family. I'm glad that the marines were exonerated in general. Keep the marines tough as nails and lets focus on the enemy. \ On a side note, I don't read in the main news anger about when Muslim radicals burn churches in foreign countries and target and kill Christians. But, Muslim radicals find it as justice to target and kill Americans when the Koran was burned accidental! Just saying...
on February 24,2012 | 03:29PM
serious wrote:
Glad to hear that!!!!
on February 24,2012 | 04:03PM
false wrote:
I like that swift justice!
on February 24,2012 | 04:14PM
SteveToo wrote:
HuuRah! Coming from a Former Sailor the the CORP!
on February 24,2012 | 04:18PM
loio wrote:
justice has been served. your okole falls asleep on watch in Injun Country, 4-5 times, Marines whose lives depend on you staying awake have a right to let you know they don't appreciate it. one guy died from a self-inflicted wound, in the process other lives may have been saved.
on February 24,2012 | 04:37PM
9ronboz wrote:
justice served
on February 24,2012 | 04:46PM
ejkorvette wrote:
No Justice was give to LCPL Harry Lew. No Justice or Respect was shown to the Lew Family. Shame Shame you on the Military Judge and Panel. A life was loss, Humiliation was brutally given and not to mention it was unfairly given. Punishment for negligence on watch/duty is one thing, Degrading someone and humilating them is a whole different issue. These Marines should be ASHAMED of themselves, Equal Shame on the presiding Military Judge and panel. My heart goes out to the Lew family, and especially to Harry Lew. May God Grant you the Peace, Respect, Love, and Honor in Heaven, that the USMC failed miserably to show you. Rest assured Harry Lew, God's Justice is Just, and all those that are Guilty will feel and experience it.
on February 24,2012 | 08:30PM
aiea7 wrote:
this is a tragic incident - but what is so stupid is that, those 3 guys should have raised the issue to a higher level. If lew had a sleeping disorder problem, he should not have been required to stand guard, since it would jeopardize the whole unit. instead, they should have gotten him medical help or not assign him to guard duty as he would place a big risk on the rest of the unit. this is what is wrong with the military - too much macho, they should have exercised some compassion and aloha, to try and help lew instead of trying to discipline him when is might have had a medical problem.
on February 24,2012 | 08:34PM
ejkorvette wrote:
No Justice was give to LCPL Harry Lew. No Justice or Respect was shown to the Lew Family. Shame Shame you on the Military Judge and Panel. A life was loss, Humiliation was brutally given and not to mention it was unfairly given. Punishment for negligence on watch/duty is one thing, Degrading someone and humilating them is a whole different issue. These Marines should be ASHAMED of themselves, Equal Shame on the presiding Military Judge and panel. My heart goes out to the Lew family, and especially to Harry Lew. May God Grant you the Peace, Respect, Love, and Honor in Heaven, that the USMC failed miserably to show you. Rest assured Harry Lew, God's Justice is Just, and all those that are Guilty will feel and experience it.
on February 24,2012 | 09:35PM
kainalu wrote:
The terms "military" and "justice" is an oxymoron when used together.
on February 24,2012 | 09:46PM
residenttaxpayer wrote:
"The judge in Johns' trial determined there wasn't evidence that the events of that night prompted Lew to kill himself, so the jury wasn't told he committed suicide. They were only told Lew had died."...........I guess Lance Cpl. Lew killed himself coz he was bored.
on February 24,2012 | 10:19PM
Surfer_Dude wrote:
Judy Chu, your nephew was a troubled man. You should be ashamed of your self for pushing this issues. Sleep well congresswoman.
on February 25,2012 | 12:09AM
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