.

Marine Sentenced to Life in Beating Death of Roommate

Lance Cpl. Darren Evans admitted to killing Lance Cpl. Mario Arias to death with a crowbar in 2011.

A Camp Pendleton Marine was sentenced by a military judge Thursday to life in prison for the beating death of his roommate, a Miramar spokesman told Patch. Last month, Darren Evans admitted to bludgeoning his roommate to death with a crowbar in November 2011 despite citing having no memory of the incident.

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.

Evans will have the possibility parole, but will be reduced from lance corporal to private. He will also forfeit all pay, will receive a dishonorable discharge from the Marine Corps, Lt. Tyler Balzer, a Miramar spokesman, told Patch.

During a January plea hearing, 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. 

Patch Newsletter & Alerts | Facebook | Twitter

Amy Kelley February 14, 2013 at 09:06 PM
Justice was served for my family today! Evans didn't even have the decency to look at my mom yesterday in court when he apathetically apologized! In fact, he had his back to my family
CATHY February 15, 2013 at 03:40 PM
he deserves more then just life! God bless the poor family.
myowncompass February 16, 2013 at 03:12 AM
The Senior Leadership needs to be held feet to the fire for what they allowed to happen. The barracks was their responsibility, they knew this was a party barracks and they didn't bother to pay attention. They knew Evans had a problem and they did not get him the help he needed. It's not enough for the Marine Corp to say we are doing better now, they need to be held accountable and be punished as well. Also, it's time to change the rules for underage drinking on base, rarely can younger people drink responsibly.
Roberta W Bunn February 27, 2013 at 07:42 PM
Not only does the Senior Leadership need to be accountable for disregarding minor consumption but also the erroneous neglect of Lance CPL. Evans blatant mental health issues.Months prior to this devastating tragedy many reports of Lance Cpl. Evans self inflicted wounds including an incident in which he was witnessed by many peers walking around barracks with blood dripping from his hands from self inflicted mutilation.A verbal suicide threat to an out of state friend.Written statements by peers expressing concern Lance Cpl. Evans is a danger to himself or others.Statements which are now missing.Numerous calls by Lance Cpl.Evans family seeking assistance for his well being.Lance Cpl. Arias family deserves justice as Lance Cpl. Evans deserves punishment for his actions which has devastated two families.But what accountability has been acknowledged or taken by the superiors for the negligence of Lance Cpl.Evans mental health care?
Daniel Woolfolk February 28, 2013 at 05:36 PM
Hi everyone, here's an interview I had with Marios mother. http://oceanside-camppendleton.patch.com/articles/cynthia-arias-mario-arias-mother-forgives-son-s-killer-darren-evans-camp-pendleton

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »