A lance corporal argued his dishonorable discharge for nearly killing a corporal during a fight at the barracks smoke pit was far too severe.
A military court disagreed.
Lance Cpl. Tyler Goodlin was sentenced to 40 months of confinement, dishonorable discharge and reduction to private following a March 2018 general court-martial aboard Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, that convicted him of aggravated assault.
Goodlin appealed that sentence to the United States Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals, arguing that his dishonorable discharge was too harsh.
According to the appeals court opinion, Goodlin got into a verbal altercation with another Marine while at the barracks smoke pit.
“Challenges were made and a physical altercation became imminent when the Marine on the third deck began to make his way down to the smoking area to confront the appellant,” the court document reads.
Goodlin picked up a 3 foot long, 7 pound metal rod and swung it, hitting a corporal, who reportedly was trying to de-escalate the situation, in the face.
The corporal’s jaw was broken into six pieces. He lost two of his teeth, suffered scarring and nerve damage, was placed in a medically induced coma for several days, and nearly died from his injuries, according to court documents.
The court said in its opinion that the level of violence “far outweighs” Goodlin’s prior clean record and good service.
While Goodlin was originally sentenced to 40 months’ confinement, the convening authority suspended confinement in excess of 15 months in keeping with a pretrial agreement.
Goodlin could appeal the decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Force, the highest military appeals court.