The sad and sorry case of Marine Lance Corporal Harry Lew has won its first conviction. On Monday, Lance Corporal Jacob Jacoby was sentenced to 30 days in jail – and a reduction in rank to private first class – for his role in the hazing that led Lew to take his own life in Afghanistan last April 3.
The government urged Jacoby be kicked out of the service to deter others (there is a least one eerily similar case):
If this is how you’re going to approach and motivate your peers, then you do not need to be a part of the service.
…the Navy prosecutor said.
But Jacoby’s attorney noted his client was frustrated at Lew’s repeated habit of falling asleep while pulling guard duty in a war zone. As part of a plea deal, the government dropped charges that Jacoby had threatened and humiliated Lew.
But Jacoby pled guilty to assault, the Associated Press reported:
Navy Lt. John Battisi, Jacoby’s attorney, said Jacoby lost his temper and struck Lew — but argued Jacoby made sure to hit Lew on his body armor where he was best protected.
Lew was the nephew of Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif. Two other Marines face charges in connection with the case.