The trial of a Marine accused of bludgeoning his roommate to death with a crowbar on Camp Pendleton will face court martial Feb. 4, a Marine Corps spokesman told Patch.
In March, military prosecutors recommended Lance Cpl. Darren Evans be tried for premeditated murder in connection with the November 2011, death of 19-year-old Lance Cpl. Mario Arias.
Evans and Arias, both 19 at the time, were students at Marine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron 303 and living as roommates in the dormitory for enlisted personnel and non-commissioned officers, according to various witnesses.
The two were roommates in a dormitory described by a witness during a March Article 32 hearing as “party barracks,” where underage alcohol consumption was common. Witnesses also said the unit’s leadership ignored recommendations to get help for Evans who — in addition to having been on suicide watch — was able to become intoxicated the night of Arias’ death.
Arias was found dead in his room shortly after midnight on Nov. 6 after Evans had fallen or leaped off a third story ledge and injured himself, according to witness testimony.
The commander of Marine Aircraft Group 39 — who was responsible for the two Marines and the barracks — quickly responded with heightened vigilance of the dorms.