A Marine reservist has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in connection to the 2019 death of an Emerson College student, a Marine spokesman confirmed.
Marine Lance Cpl. Samuel, a reservist with the 25th Marines based out of Fort Devens, Massachusetts, was on predeployment leave when he went bar hopping in Boston’s Allston neighborhood. A fight between his friends and a group of Emerson College lacrosse students ended in the fall and later death of Daniel Hollis, a sophomore.
A jury made its decision from what it heard during the seven-day trial, which ended Wednesday.
London was sentenced to reduction in rank to E-1, 65 months of confinement and a dishonorable discharge, Capt. Andrew Wood, a Marine Corps spokesman, told Marine Corps Times on Monday.
After the bars closed in the early morning of Sept. 28, 2019, London and two other friends, Jacob Ryles and Army Sgt. Robert Pankov, continued wandering the neighborhood in search of a cigarette lighter.
Eventually the group stumbled upon a Boston apartment where several Emerson College lacrosse team players, including Hollis, were at a party celebrating a return to school.
What started out as a borrowed lighter soon turned into fight between the two groups.
The Emerson lacrosse players testified in court that London had started the fight after one of the lacrosse players called him and his friends “grandmas.”
But the defense, led by Maj. Albert Evans, claimed the lacrosse players escalated the situation after a sarcastic comment from one of the Marine’s friends.
“‘I will f*cking kill you’ is the last thing Lance Cpl. London heard before getting pummeled,” Evans said during the case’s opening arguments.
Sometime during the fight Hollis fell backward, hitting his head on bricks.
As Hollis was rushed to a nearby hospital his brain had started to swell. Despite undergoing an emergency procedure Hollis died days later.
The prosecution, led by Capt. Tim Dean, said London had “unloaded” his anger on Hollis’ face, knocking him out and causing the fall.
The defense presented multiple alternatives to the cause of the fall, pointing out that Hollis had been drinking and smoking weed in the hours prior, emphasizing that no witness had seen London punch Hollis.
London also had been charged with one count of wrongful use of a controlled substance, with claims the Marine had snorted cocaine before going to the bars.
Though one of London’s friends said he had brought cocaine to the party, he testified he did not share the cocaine with London.
There are no drug tests that had showed London used cocaine, according to Evans.
In addition to the drug charge, the prosecution had asked the jury to convict London on one charge of murder and two additional assault charges.
The jury convicted him only of involuntary manslaughter, according to Wood.
Involuntary manslaughter means London is guilty of killing Hollis, though he did so “without an intent to kill or inflict great bodily harm,” according to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
A tweet from The Daniel Hollis Foundation had one word for the verdict: “Justice.”