View Full Version : No verdict in instructor abuse case

11-14-07, 11:39 AM
No verdict in instructor abuse case

Jury at MCRD to resume today
By Steve Liewer

November 14, 2007

SAN DIEGO – Four and a half hours of deliberation produced no verdict yesterday in the court-martial of a Marine drill instructor accused of abusing the recruits in his charge last winter.

Sgt. Jerrod Glass, 25, is charged with 10 counts of assault, maltreatment, damaging property and failure to obey an order. If convicted, he faces up to 11 years in prison and a dishonorable discharge. The jury of three officers and three senior enlisted Marines will resume its deliberations this morning at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego.

During the weeklong court-martial, 23 Marines from Platoon 2167 testified that Glass hit, punched and kicked them for minor infractions on dozens of occasions between December 2006 and February at the recruit depot.

They also accused him of forcing Marines to drink multiple canteens of water after eating. When some of the recruits vomited, Glass allegedly forced them to roll around in the mess.

The lead defense attorney, Capt. Patrick Callahan, conceded Glass' guilt in three cases, including an incident in which the drill instructor gave a recruit a black eye and another in which he struck a recruit in the face with a flashlight.

But Callahan argued that most of the accusations hadn't been supported in court with eyewitness testimony.

One of the platoon's other drill instructors, Cpl. Joseph Villagomez, testified yesterday that he spent about 20 hours a day with the recruits and never saw Glass strike anyone.

“The rest of these assaults did not occur,” Callahan said. “Cpl. Villagomez would have seen them.”

The Marine Corps' two boot camps are legendary for their toughness, and the service considers its training methods to be a critical part of turning young men and women into Marines.

Several members of Glass' platoon testified that they didn't complain about their drill instructor's treatment because they thought it was part of boot-camp ritual. They also didn't want to appear weak.

In recent years, the Marine Corps has cracked down on some of the harshest boot-camp tactics. For example, it has barred drill instructors from striking recruits in most circumstances.

In the few cases in which striking is allowed, drill instructors must use the “minimum force necessary” to correct the recruit, according to the Marine Corps Standard Operating Procedure.

Prosecutors said Glass had spent 116 hours of classroom time studying those procedures. He was the top graduate in his drill-instructor class last year and was working as a drill instructor for the first time.

“Sgt. Glass went so far above and beyond minimum force,” said 1st Lt. John Torresala, a co-prosecutor. “There's no way he doesn't know he broke the rules.”

Steve Liewer: (619) 498-6632; steve.liewer@uniontrib.com


11-15-07, 07:24 AM
Military jury convicts Marine drill instructor of abusing recruits in San Diego

Eds: UPDATES with jury finished for the day, detail on counts; CORRECTS maximum sentence to 10 years, not 11.


Associated Press Writer

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- A Marine boot camp drill instructor was convicted Wednesday of abusing recruits under his command.

A military jury found Sgt. Jerrod M. Glass guilty of cruelty and maltreatment, destruction of personal property, assault, and violating orders on the proper treatment of recruits.

Glass, who was relieved of duty as a drill instructor in February, faces as many as 10 years of confinement, dishonorable discharge, reduction in rank, and forfeiture of pay and benefits. A sentencing hearing that began shortly after the verdict was scheduled to continue Thursday morning.

Telephone calls to Glass' attorney and his family were not immediately returned.

Glass, who volunteered for two tours in Iraq, had worked as a drill instructor for less than a year when the mistreatment occurred at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot near downtown San Diego.

Glass, 25, was accused of ordering one recruit to jump headfirst into a trash can and then pushing him farther into the container. He was also accused of striking recruits with a tent pole and a heavy flashlight. None of the recruits was seriously injured.

Glass' parents have said that their son did not act maliciously, and that they believe he was being scapegoated for commonly accepted practices.

During the court-martial, witnesses testified Glass routinely stomped on recruits' toiletry kits, breaking razors and soap containers inside, for minor infractions like not displaying name tags properly.

They said Glass and another drill instructor would line recruits up after meals and force them to down liters of water from their canteens in a ritual they referred to as "waterbowling."

The jury convicted Glass of eight counts: two counts of cruelty and maltreatment, three counts of destruction of personal property, one count of assault and two counts of violating orders.

Glass was one of three drill instructors charged with abusing recruits. Sgt. Robert C. Hankins and Sgt. Brian M. Wendel are facing special courts-martial on related charges. A fourth instructor, Sgt. Joseph Villagomez, received administrative punishment.

About 17,000 recruits graduate each year from the depot, one of two Marine training depots nationwide. The other is in Parris Island, S.C.


11-15-07, 07:52 AM
Former Marine DI guilty of charges stemming from accusations of abuse
Stars and Stripes
Pacific edition, Friday, November 16, 2007

A former Marine Corps drill instructor was found guilty of charges stemming from accusations that he abused dozens of Marine recruits in San Diego, according to a Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego news release.

Prosecutors claimed that Sgt. Jerrod M. Glass punched, slapped, kicked and ridiculed close to 40 Marine recruits over two months.

On Wednesday, the Corps announced that a court-martial found Glass guilty on two specifications of violation of orders, two specifications cruelty and maltreatment, three specifications of destruction of personal property, and one specification of assault.

Glass’ attorney said some of the abuses his client was accused of had taken place, but most had not.

“This is Marine Corps boot camp, not preschool,” said Capt. Patrick Callahan during the four-day trial.

Glass served two tours in Iraq as a dog handler and was an honor graduate of drill instructor school. The alleged abuses occurred during his first assignment as a drill instructor.

A hearing was under way Wednesday afternoon to determine Glass’ sentence, according to the news release.