Sunday, February 05, 2012
Kaneohe Bay Marine court in spotlight as family of hazed Marine alleges leniency in sentencing
by Larry Geller
Lance Cpl. Harry Lew committed suicide in Afghanistan immediately after a beating by his fellow Marines. His family is accusing the Marine Corps of leniency in sentencing the first Marine to go on trial last week, Lance Cpl. Jacob Jacoby, received a sentence of 30 days confinement and was knocked down one pay rank, but remains in the Corps.
Lew’s family thinks the sentence was too lenient and have called for Congressional hearings. They said that hazing is common in the military. Common targets include women and those of Asian-American or African-American ancestry.
The Lew family plans to return to Hawaii on Monday to attend the court-martial of the second Marine accused in the case, Sgt. Benjamin Johns. The trial will take place at Kaneohe Marine Corps Base tomorrow, Monday, February 6, 2012.
Jacoby was allowed to agree to a plea agreement announced only the day of his special court martial. As a result of the plea, the jury was not allowed to hear of the hazing. Jacoby pleaded guilty only to assault. There has been no word as to whether Johns will be given a plea agreement tomorrow.