Marine Corps drill instructor abuse case going to jury

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (AP) – A military jury begins deliberating whether a Marine Corps drill instructor accused of beating new recruits and targeting Muslim-Americans did his job despite accounts of aggression against young troops.

The eight-man jury at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, starts deliberating Thursday whether Gunnery Sgt. Joseph Felix is guilty of maltreating three Muslim recruits. A Pakistani-American recruit from Michigan committed suicide at the Parris Island, South Carolina, boot camp last year after Felix barked at and slapped him.

Felix also is accused of obstruction of justice for telling recruits not to cooperate with investigators after the suicide. He’s also charged with drunk and disorderly conduct, and making false official statements. He has pleaded not guilty.

Felix faces the possibility of time in a military prison, financial penalties and a dishonorable discharge.

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