Marine in hazing suicide case to appear in court

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A Hawaii-based lance corporal accused of hazing a fellow Marine who committed suicide at their remote outpost in Afghanistan is appearing in court after agreeing to a plea bargain.

In October, Lance Cpl. Jacob D. Jacoby was referred to a general court-martial on charges that he assaulted, threatened, and humiliated Lance Cpl. Harry Lew, who killed himself on April 3.

Jacoby will instead appear Monday before a special court martial — a venue for less serious crimes than a general court-martial— at a Marine base in Kaneohe Bay after reaching a plea agreement. The Marines didn't release details of the agreement ahead of the trial.

Two other Marines have also been accused of hazing Lew, 21, a nephew of U.S. Rep. Judy Chu of California, before he shot himself with his machine gun in his foxhole.

Sgt. Benjamin Johns, the leader of the squad the Marines belonged to, and Lance Cpl. Carlos Orozco III will each have their own separate courts-martial at later dates.

The case involves the actions of Marines at an isolated patrol base the U.S. was establishing to disrupt Taliban drug and weapons trafficking in Helmand province.

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