A lieutenant assigned to the 1st Marine Division attempted to murder a fellow commissioned officer during a fight in North Carolina, prosecutors say.
Marine 1st Lt. William L. Coville of Richmond, in Contra Costa County, faces multiple charges in connection with the beating of an unnamed officer on May 21, 2017, in Sneads Ferry, N.C., including attempted murder, maiming and assault, according to a charge sheet released to The San Diego Union-Tribune following a federal Freedom of Information Act request.
Sneads Ferry is near both Camp Lejeune and the U.S. Marine Corps Special Operations Command.
Coville serves in 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms in San Bernardino County and his court-martial is overseen by 1st Marine Division in Camp Pendleton.
The unidentified victim reportedly suffered “seriously disfiguring” facial fractures, according to the charge sheet. Coville allegedly threatened to kill the officer, later saying that he hoped the Marine would “bleed out” and die.
Coville’s next court appearance is May 15 in Twentynine Palms.
He joined the Corps in 2016 and has never deployed overseas. He has received both the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
According to the Marine Corps recruiting office in Berkeley, Coville graduated from the University of California at Davis and had been working as a personal trainer before attending Officer Candidates School in Quantico, Virginia.
In another case at Twentynine Palms, commanders dropped all charges against Cpl. Gage L. Lobraico.
He faced four specifications of sexual assault and another for unlawfully touching the genitals of an unidentified female Marine on March 26, 2017.
The charges were withdrawn without prejudice, which means they can be resurrected if more evidence becomes available, but this occurs very rarely, according to his defense team of Marine attorneys Maj. Susan Upward and Capt. Adrian Kinsella.
“We believe that this is absolutely the just result, as pre-trial investigation, motions, and litigation revealed serious credibility issues about the complaining witness in this case,” Upward said by email. “While we are confident that Cpl. Lobraico would have been acquitted at trial, we are pleased that he has been vindicated before the court-martial was convened. We are only saddened by the fact that the stigma of this accusation alone may forever follow our client and tarnish his good name.”