Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Second Marine acquitted of hazing California Marine who killed self

February 24, 2012 |  5:32 pm

A second Marine has been acquitted of hazing a Marine from California in the hours before he commited suicide in Afghanistan.

A court-martial Friday in Hawaii found Lance Cpl. Carlos Orozco III not guilty of assaulting and humiliating Cpl. Harry Lew, 21, before Lew killed himself April 3 in Helmand province. Orozco was charged with hitting and kicking Lew.

A different jury had found Sgt. Benjamin Johns, 22, not guilty of similar charges. Lance Cpl. Jacob Jacoby pleaded guilty to assault and was given 30 days' confinement.

The three Marines were angry at Lew, from Santa Clara in Northern California, for repeatedly falling asleep while on guard duty, according to testimony. He killed himself with his rifle.

Lew's aunt, Rep. Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park), has called for congressional hearings on hazing in the military.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Lance Cpl. Carlos Orozco III arrives at the court-martial in Hawaii. Credit: Associated Press / Kent Nishimura