FILE - In this Oct., 31, 2017 file photo, U.S. Marine Gunnery Sgt. Joseph A. Felix, his wife, and his lawyers exit a courtroom after testimony at Camp Lejeune, N.C. A Marine Corps jury on Friday, Nov. 10, is deciding whether Felix should be sentenced to military prison time for choking, punching and otherwise tormenting recruits, especially Muslims, one of whom eventually hurled himself to his death down a stairwell. The eight-man jury at Camp Lejeune, N.C., also could sentence Felix to financial penalties and a dishonorable discharge. (Rory Laverty /The Washington Post/via AP, File)

Marine drill instructor gets 10 years for abusing recruits

November 11, 2017 - 2:01 am

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A Marine Corps drill instructor has been sentenced by a military jury to 10 years behind bars after being convicted of hazing and tormenting young recruits, include a Muslim-American who later killed himself.

The eight-member jury meted out that punishment Friday to Gunnery Sgt. Joseph Felix, a 34-year-old Iraq veteran who jurors found had abused more than a dozen trainees at the Marine boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina.

The jury said Felix zeroed in on three Muslim-American recruits especially. The drill instructor ordered two of them to climb into an industrial clothes dryer, spinning one of them around in the scalding machine until he renounced his faith.

Defense attorney Navy Lt. Cmdr. Daniel Bridges declined to discuss the conviction and sentencing.

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