PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. (WSAV) — A senior drill instructor at Parris Island is facing a series of charges, including negligent homicide connected to the death of a Marine recruit at the base last year.
A Marine incident report showed that Dalton Beals had a temperature of 107 degrees and suffered from hyperthermia when he died June 7, 2021. Beals left his platoon during the training exercise known as the “crucible.”
The report shows he was unaccounted for an hour before he was found dead in the woods. The same report admitted the marines in charge ordered Beals’ platoon to undergo “unauthorized incentive training” during the grueling test.
And investigators say that several recruits tried to talk to the senior drill instructor that day but at least one said he would “curse them out for messing with his time.”
Now Brigadier General Walker Field officially charged that instructor, Staff Sergeant Steven Smiley, with seven crimes including: cruelty of his subordinates, dereliction of duty, obstruction of justice and negligent homicide.
The case has been assigned to the highest level of courts within the marine corps.
Beals’ passing was the third “unusual death” on the Parris Island Base in the past 18 months. Pvt. Anthony Munoz died of an apparent suicide back in September 2021. And private first class Brandon Barnish died just three weeks later.
There are ongoing investigations into those deaths.