Thursday, February 02, 2012
Second Kaneohe Marine faces court martial related to suicide of Lance Corporal Henry Lew
by Larry Geller
The second Marine to go on trial for the hazing and subsequent suicide death of Lance Corporal Harry Lew will face a jury on Monday, February 6, 2012 at Kaneohe Bay Marine Corps Base in Honolulu.
Harry Lew, a Chinese-American Kaneohe Marine from California, killed himself on April 3, 2011 in Afghanistan. Investigators found Lew was subjected to a brutal hazing by his fellow Marines.
Sgt. Benjamin Johns has been charged with humiliating Lew and failing to ensure the welfare of Marines under his care. He will be tried at a general court martial.
Lance Cpl. Jacob D. Jacoby, the first Marine to be tried in relation to Lew’s death, was sentenced under a plea agreement at a special court martial on Monday to 30 days confinement and loss of one pay grade. The details of the plea agreement were not made public until the time of the trial. The prosecutor had asked for a bad conduct discharge, but withdrew charges that Jacoby humiliated and threatened Lew as part of the plea agreement.
The lenient sentence meted out to Jacoby was criticized by Lew’s aunt, California Congresswoman Judy Chu, who attended the trial:
U.S. Rep. Judy Chu said the 30-day sentence given a Hawaii-based Marine in a hazing that preceded the suicide in Afghanistan of her nephew Lance Cpl. Harry Lew "was a slap in the face to the life of a young man who only wanted to serve his country."
[Star-Advertiser, Marine's 30-day sentence condemned: A congresswoman faults the military for her nephew's death (subscription), 2/1/2012]
Related: Marine accused of involvement in Afghanistan suicide cops a plea, gets 30 days (1/30/2012)