Abusive drill instructor sentenced to 10 years

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. Closing arguments could begin soon for a former Felix, a Marine Corps drill instructor facing court-martial on charges including cruelty and maltreatment. Prosecutors have spent more than a week at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina laying out the case against Felix. They returned to court Wednesday, Nov. 8. (Rory Laverty /The Washington Post/via AP, File)

RALIEGH, N.C. (AP) – A Marine Corps drill instructor has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for abusing young recruits, especially Muslims, one of whom killed himself.

The eight-man jury at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, on Friday also sentenced Gunnery Sgt. Joseph Felix to forfeiture of all pay, reduction of his rank to private and a dishonorable discharge.

The military jury convicted the 34-year-old Iraq veteran Thursday of maltreatment of recruits at the Marine Corps’ Parris Island, South Carolina, boot camp.

The jury of five sergeants and three officers determined that Felix punched, kicked and choked recruits, zeroing in on three Muslim military volunteers he insulted as “terrorist” for special mistreatment.

Felix was one of six drill instructors at Parris Island charged with abuse after the March 2016 suicide of one of those three Muslim recruits.

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