Sgt. Johns, a squad leader, also has been charged with dereliction for failing to supervise and ensure the welfare of Marines under his care.
The general court-martial is set for Monday at a Marine base in Kaneohe Bay, the home of the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, which the accused are assigned to. Proceedings will start with the selection of a jury.
Sgt. Johns‘ attorney said his client was only trying to save the lives of his squad as he tried to get Lew — who repeatedly had fallen asleep on watch and patrol — to stop dozing off. The base had been fired on before, and Sgt. Johns was concerned Lew wouldn’t spot Taliban fighters trying to attack their outpost again, lawyer Tim Bilecki said.
Another Marine in the squad, Lance Cpl. Jacob Jacoby, last week pleaded guilty to assault. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and demoted to private first class. A third Marine will go to trial later.
“This is a call for justice,” Mrs. Chu said at a press conference in Washington on Thursday. “Too many patriotic young people, who only want to serve our country, are being harmed.”
She also condemned Cpl. Jacoby’s sentence as “a slap in the face,” noting he’ll continue to serve in the Marine Corps because he wasn’t discharged.
By April 2, Lew had fallen asleep four times while either on patrol or on watch duty in his 10 days at the base.
His leaders referred him up the chain of command for punishment and took him off patrols so he could get more rest so he wouldn’t fall asleep.
At about 11 p.m., he woke up another Marine who was due to relieve Lew two hours later and had him take over the job early. Sgt. Johns also ordered Lew to dig a foxhole deep enough for him to stand in so that he would stay awake while on watch.View Entire Story
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