Prosecutor calls Marine drill instructor 'bully'
CAMP LEJEUNE, Onslow County - A military prosecutor says a Marine Corps drill instructor was a "bully" who punched, choked and kicked recruits, and focused his abuse on three Muslim volunteers whom he derided as "terrorists."
Lt. Col. John Norman said Wednesday in closing arguments that eyewitnesses testified to seeing gunnery Sgt. Joseph Felix slug recruits in the face and hit others with a rifle, terrorizing recruits sometimes while drunk.
Felix did not testify in his defense. His attorneys were expected to present their summary of the case later Wednesday.
Felix is on trial at Camp LeJeune, charged with three counts of maltreatment toward three Muslim recruits. One of them committed suicide at the Parris Island, South Carolina, boot camp after Felix barked at and manhandled him.
A Marine investigation after the suicide led to charges against six drill instructors and the training battalion's former commanding officer.
Testimony has ended in the military trial of a Marine Corps drill instructor accused of punching, choking and kicking recruits, and particularly targeting Muslim trainees for abuse.
Closing arguments were expected Wednesday in the court martial of Gunnery Sgt. Joseph Felix at Camp Lejeune.
He is charged with three counts of maltreatment toward three Muslim recruits. One of them committed suicide at the Parris Island, South Carolina, boot camp after Felix barked at and manhandled him.
Felix could face time in a military prison, financial penalties and a dishonorable discharge.
A Marine investigation after one of Felix's Muslim trainees committed suicide led to charges against six drill instructors and the training battalion's former commanding officer. Lt. Col. Joshua Kissoon is scheduled for court martial in March.
Closing arguments could begin soon for a former Marine Corps drill instructor facing court-martial on charges including cruelty and maltreatment.
Prosecutors have spent more than a week at Camp Lejeune laying out the case against Gunnery Sgt. Joseph Felix. They returned to court Wednesday.
Several witnesses testified that Felix punched, choked and kicked recruits at the Marine Corps' Parris Island, South Carolina, training center and was especially cruel toward Muslims, calling them terrorists.
Investigators said that after a confrontation with Felix, 20-year-old recruit Raheel Siddiqui fell three stories to his death in a suicide.
Felix's lawyer says the stories were blown out of proportion and some contradict others.
The Marine Corps has said Felix's case is part of widespread hazing of recruits involving nearly two dozen people.