Marine gets two years in brig for Lejeune main gate shooting death

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A Camp Lejeune Marine who admitted to shooting a fellow Marine at the main gate will spend at least the next two years in the brig.

Lance Corporal Brandon Little pleaded guilty Tuesday to involuntary manslaughter with culpable negligence, in return for the government dropping two other charges.

It was April 8th of this year when base officials said 21-year-old Lance Corporal Mark Boterf was shot and killed while on duty at the main gate.

The two Marines were performing sentry duty at the gate, and Little told the judge his M4 rifle accidentally went off as he was removing it, striking Boterf in the chest.

Government prosecutors asked Little be sentenced to five years in the brig, and kicked out of the Marine Corps.

The man's lawyers sought no confinement, instead asking Col. Debra McConnell to sentence Little to a lifetime of guilt, regret and torment.

Col McConnell sentenced Little to three years, but due to a pre-trial agreement, the Marine will only serve two years, while the last year will be suspended if he behaves himself in the brig.

Little will be reduced to private, and then given a dishonorable discharge when he is released from the brig.



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A Marine accused of fatally shooting a fellow Marine at the main gate of Camp Lejeune will hear more about the sentencing in his case on Wednesday.

Lance Corporal Brandon Little was charged with dereliction of duty, negligent homicide, and involuntary manslaughter in the shooting.

Little waived his right to an Article 32 hearing, which is similar to a civilian grand jury, and pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter with culpable negligence.

He pleaded not guilty to negligent homicide and dereliction of duty. The government withdrew those other two charges and the guilty plea was accepted.

It was April 8th of this year when base officials said 21-year-old Lance Corporal Mark Boterf was shot and killed while on duty at the main gate.

On the stand, Little said he was working temporary duty at the main gate, and when traffic slacked off he would play with the M4's safety, switching it on and off.

Little said at the end of the shift, he went back to the guard shack to dismantle the weapon, and did not notice the rifle had racked itself back as he was taking it off. The Marine said it became caught on his walkie talkie, which was around his neck. Little testified that the safety was off and the weapon fired, hitting Boterf in the chest.

Little cried as he answered the judge's questions about whether Boterf died in the shooting.

The Marine could face up to 10 years in the brig, dishonorable discharge and forfeiture of pay and allowances.

His sentencing is expected to continue Wednesday.

Stay with WITN as we continue to follow this case through the court martial process.


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A Marine accused of fatally shooting a fellow Marine at the main gate of Camp Lejeune will begin his court-martial proceedings Tuesday.

Lance Corporal Brandon Little is charged with dereliction of duty, negligent homicide, and involuntary manslaughter in the shooting.

It was April 8th of this year when base officials said 21-year-old Lance Corporal Mark Boterf was shot and killed while on duty at the main gate.

A military spokesman says Little will be represented by military counsel, which has been appointed to him.

Lance Cpl. Little joined the Marine Corps in December 2011 and is a field artillery cannoneer assigned to 1st Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment. Little deployed in support of the Unit Deployment Program to Japan from October 2012 to May 2013.

His awards include the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

Little has not been kept behind bars leading up to his court-martial. He was only officially charged last month.



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Lejeune officials confirmed with WITN that one Marine has now been charged in the shooting death of a fellow Marine at the base's main gate.

It was April 8th of this year when base officials said 21-year-old Lance Corporal Mark Boterf was shot and killed while on duty at the guard shack.

Lieutenant Adam Flores of Camp Lejeune confirmed with WITN that Lance Corporal Brandon Little has now been charged with dereliction of duty, negligent homicide, and involuntary manslaughter in the shooting.

In April, the Pentagon said a Marine standing guard at the gate fired an M4 rifle around 5:30 that afternoon, killing another guard.

Lance Cpl. Boterf died of a single gunshot wound to the chest.

Spokesman Nat Fahy said both Marines involved were temporarily assigned to sentry duty at the time.

Boterf's twin brother, Mike, told his local newspaper that the 21-year-old volunteered to stand duty that night so another Marine could take leave to get married.

Lt. Flores noted there is no date set at this time for Lance Cpl. Little's court martial.


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Funeral services have been announced for the Camp Lejeune Marine killed by a fellow Marine while on guard duty last week.

Services for 21-year-old Lance Corporal Mark Boterf are set for 11 a.m. Friday, April 18, at Alsbury Baptist Church, in his hometown of Burleson Texas.

Visitation will be from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Thursday in Laurel Land Memorial Chapel.

Military officials say that the fatal shooting in a guard shack appears to have been accidental and remains under investigation.

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The father of the 21-year-old Marine killed in an accidental shooting says his son overcame physical hurdles to join his two other brothers in the Marine Corps.

Aubrey Boterf says his son, Lance Cpl. Mark Boterf, was born in Amory, Miss., but moved to Crowley, Texas, in 2012 along with his nine siblings.

His twin brother, Michael Stephen, also a Marine, says Mark underwent surgery to correct a hernia and then pushed himself to quickly meet the Corps* physical standards.

A Pentagon spokesman says the fatal shooting Tuesday by a colleague in a guard shack at the North Carolina base appears to have been an accident. Boterf joined the Marines in 2012, had no deployment history and was on temporary assignment as a sentry.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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Camp Lejeune has identified the Marine Sentry guard killed Tuesday night as 21-year-old Mark Boterf from Crawley, Texas.

Lance Cpl. Boterf was assigned to 2nd Radio Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group aboard Camp Lejeune. He was temporarily assigned to Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune as a Marine sentry.

Born on December 18, 1992, Boterf joined the Marine Corps in August 2012. He joined 2nd Radio Battalion in 2013, served as a Special Intelligence System Communicator (MOS 2651) and was promoted his current rank on October 1, 2013.

His awards include the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and National Defense Service Medal.

Lance Cpl. Boterf has no deployment history.

Boterf's twin brother Mike told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, his brother attended Tupelo High School before moving to Texas in 2010.

Mike told the paper that Mark volunteered for the guard position so that another Marine could take leave to get married.

Camp Lejeune says the initial assessment of yesterday's deadly shooting at the main gate was likely an accident, "caused by a negligent discharge" of a firearm.

The base says around 5:30 p.m. a Marine standing guard at the gate fired an M4 rifle, killing another guard.

Captain Joshua Smith, a base spokesman, says NCIS confirms "the shooter is still in custody." Smith says because this is an ongoing investigation, his identity and any possible charges are not yet being released.

The base says both the shooter and the victim were inside a guard shack when the shooting happened, and at least one other Marine guard was at the gate at the time.

A spokesman says the victim died of a single wound to the chest after efforts to revive him.

Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, service members could face court-martial for a negligent discharge, punishable by confinement and pay forfeiture.

Wednesday afternoon, base spokesman Nat Fahy said it will take several weeks for forensic tests to confirm the cause.

He said the two Marines were temporarily assigned to sentry duty from II MEF. Fahy says the dead Marine's family was notified Tuesday night, but the military doesn't release names until 24 hours has passed.


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Camp Lejeune officials say a Marine standing guard at Camp Lejeune's Main Gate discharged an M4 rifle, killing another Marine guard.

It happened at approximately 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Officials say one of the guards shot his rifle, which was issued to him as part of his job at Camp Lejeune, and killed another guard working alongside him. The two Marines were monitoring incoming traffic onto the base.

A spokesman for Camp Lejeune says it wasn't just the two guards, and that at least one other Marine was present at the Main Gate. While they aren't releasing details of how or why this happened, the spokesman says it's always tough to lose a Marine on base.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with all the families involved at this point," says Captain Joshua Smith. "I just want to stress that this being ruled an isolated incident. It is neither an act of terrorism nor an active shooter. The situation is not active, it's under control, and is being investigated by NCIS."

A spokesman says the victim died of a single wound to the chest after efforts to revive him. The Marine who fired the shot is said to be in custody.

Base officials say the shooting was an isolated incident and not an act of terrorism nor an active shooter event.

The incident remains under investigation by Naval Criminal Investigative
Service.

Identification is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. WITN expects to learn more about those involved on Wednesday.


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Camp Lejeune officials say a Marine standing guard at Camp Lejeune's Main Gate discharged an M4 rifle, killing another Marine guard.

It happened at approximately 5:30 p.m.

Identification is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

The Base Provost Marshal has stated the incident is being considered neither as an act of terrorism nor an active shooter event at this time.

The incident is currently under investigation by Naval Criminal
Investigative Service.

We'll update the story as we get more information.


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