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Marine Admits to Bludgeoning Death with No Memory of Event

A military judge accepted a guilty plea by Lance Cpl. Darren Evans who beat his roommate, Lance Cpl. Mario Arias, to death with a crowbar in November of 2011. Evans relied on evidence to deliver his plea.

A Camp Pendleton Marine admitted to bludgeoning his roommate to death with a crowbar in November 2011 despite citing having no memory of the incident.

Lance Cpl. Darren Evans was arrested Nov. 6, 2011 after falling—or jumping—off a three-story catwalk. His roommate, Lance Cpl. Mario Arias, was found dead shortly after midnight in a room they shared in the barracks.

During a plea hearing this week, Evans told a military judge he had blacked out after drinking too much beer and vodka and couldn’t remember the crime. He relied, however, on overwhelming DNA evidence, witness testimony, toxicology reports and fingerprints authorities found on the crowbar.

“Based on that, I am convinced I did this,” he told a military judge Monday.

He pleaded guilty to an additional charge of assault, for punching a sergeant.

The judge accepted the Marine's guilty plea, a Miramar spokesman told Patch.

The two 19-year-old Marines were friends and Arias had confronted Evans on his excessive drinking. Evans opted to be tried by military judge alone and gave up the right to a jury.

Evans faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, reduction in rank to E-1, a dishonorable discharge and forfeiture of pay. His sentencing is set for mid-February.

A witness in an Article 32 hearing in March 2012 said the incident happened in “party barracks” where non-commissioned officers regularly allowed underage Marines to drink including Evans—a troubled Marine who had previously been placed on suicide watch.

Related: 

After the testimony, Col. Shaun L. Sadler, commander of Marine Aircraft Group 39, which is responsible for the barracks, released a Nov. 28, 2011 memo that shows a response of increased leadership presence at the troubled barracks. 

myowncompass February 01, 2013 at 11:51 PM
waste of two lives. i'm glad that he at least pleaded guilty.
FOBESQ February 02, 2013 at 03:15 PM
Oh yes, you bludgeon someone to death and you just can't remember that momentous event. This guy deserves the firing squad. Why can't Pendleton monitor and police its own population? Allowing underage drinking on base? There should be consequences for those in charge as well.
myowncompass February 03, 2013 at 01:04 PM
I have been drunk enough for blackout events. Blackouts are not unusual, especially for heavy or longtime drinkers. It's horrible not to remember and I am grateful that I do not drink like I did when I was young and in the military. You're right that the Marines should monitor what is going on inside it's own base, and young people drinking is not a good thing. Also his own command completely dropped the ball as far as supervision of the barracks and the Marine they knew had a problem. They hold a large part of the blame for this death as it was entirely preventable. I have found that the Marines do not do much or even anything as far as consequences for their personnel either on or off base as my family has suffered for it. Do I wish death on this young man? I suppose if I were Arias' family I would; I remember how angry I was. I would have given anything just for a trial. But it was all swept away by the San Diego Police, (evidence included!), and denied by the Marines. At least this one has admitted guilt and will serve time. It will never bring back Arias, but then, neither would the killer's death.
Roberta W Bunn February 27, 2013 at 08:26 PM
His command dropped the ball not only for illegal under age drinking but for ignoring Lance Cpl.Evans mental health issues.The overwhelming court documented evidence demonstrating this marines mental health issues that was blatantly neglected needs to be addressed.The command has a responsibility for their negligence in this devastating tragedy in which they need to be accountable for.

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