KANEOHE BAY, Hawaii (AP) — A U.S. Marine is being court-martialed on accusations that he hazed a member of his squad by ordering him to dig a foxhole as punishment for falling asleep on watch duty in Afghanistan.
Sgt. Benjamin Johns is one of three Marines accused of hazing Lance Cpl. Harry Lew. Lew committed suicide April 3 after prosecutors say he endured several hours of abuse.
Prosecutors say Johns had no authority to punish a Marine by ordering him to dig a foxhole. Johns' defense team says digging the foxhole was supposed to help Lew stay awake.
The court-martial begins Tuesday.
The first Marine to face trial in the case, Lance Cpl. Jacob Jacoby, last week pleaded guilty to assault for punching and kicking Lew. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail.