Beaten to Death For Confronting Fellow Marine About His Alcohol Abuse

By Will Godfrey 11/10/11

A US Marine who accused a comrade of having an alcohol problem was murdered on their California base.

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Lance Corporal Arias was planning to go home
for Thanksgiving.
Photo via

In what appears a particularly violent example of denial, a 19-year-old US Marine was murdered Sunday at Camp Pendleton, California, after confronting a drunken comrade about his alcohol problem. Lance Corporal Mario Arias Jr. raised the subject while the suspect was drinking at the San Diego County base in the early hours of Sunday morning, making him "enraged," sources tell the North County Times. He was beaten to death for his pains and later found dead on his bed. The unnamed suspect then tried to kill himself, by jumping from the third-floor balcony of the barrack building. "Another Marine, whose name is not being released at this time, is the suspect in Arias' murder," confirms Naval Criminal Investigative Service spokesman Ed Buice, describing his injuries as "significant." Charges have not yet been brought—when that happens will depend on the speed of the suspect's recovery. He may not have reached Step One yet, but could have a lot of jail time ahead of him to do so.

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Will Godfrey is the former editor-in-chief of TheFix. He was also the founding editor-in-chief of, and previously co-founded a magazine for prisoners in London. His work has appeared in Salon, Pacific Standard, AlterNet and The Nation among others. He is currently the Executive Director at FILTER. You can find Will on Linkedin and Twitter.