Raymond W. Begay, a private in the U.S. Marine Corps who grew up on the Hoopa Reservation, was convicted at a court martial hearing Wednesday of involuntary manslaughter for fatally stabbing a fellow Marine at Camp Pendleton’s School of Infantry, the Orange County Register reports.
Begay, 20, was sentenced to seven years in the brig for the Jan. 16 stabbing of Pfc. Ethan Andrew Barclay-Weberpa, 18. Originally charged with murder, Begay pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and testified that the stabbing was accidental, the result of horseplay while sitting in formation behind Barclay-Weberpal at the infantry school bleachers, according to the report.
Marine convicted of involuntary manslaughter in killing of fellow private at Camp Pendleton’s School of Infantry https://t.co/kh5B4O2VPA— O.C. Register (@ocregister) July 26, 2018
The O.C. Register quotes him as testifying, “In the moment, I was simply intending to poke him. I was simply trying to annoy him as a friend. I wasn’t trying to cause harm.”
Begay will receive a Bad Conduct Discharge upon his release.