Marine Drill Instructor Charged in Recruit’s Death
by: August 12, 2018
The death of a Coast Guard recruit came at the hands of a military drill instructor. Recruit Kevin Hines Jr., a 21-year-old from Georgia, died in January of 2016 when he was serving a drill team at Great Lakes, Michigan. In August of 2018, a federal jury found Major General Brian Dohnt, drill instructor and head of the Michigan National Guard, guilty of involuntary manslaughter for his role in recruiting Mr. Hines to join the marine drill team. The jury deliberated from three until nine minutes. Dohnt was sentenced to an 18-month prison term on Wednesday August 12 for involuntary manslaughter.
Dohnt was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for recruiting and training Hines after he was found unconscious and unresponsive in his barracks.
“I feel badly that you lost your son,” Hines’ mother told the judge during the trial.
Hines’ mother told the jury about her son’s high school, where he played football and basketball. On the evening of his death, he had spoken with his girlfriend and told her he was training for the drill team and would be home Saturday evening for dinner. On Wednesday, August 12, Hines was found unresponsive in his barracks at Great Lakes. His mother said her son had complained of chest pains about 12 hours before he died.
The next morning, Hines’ mother went to his barracks and entered the building around 8:00 a.m. She found her son lying face down in a pool of water. She said she attempted CPR, but her son was not breathing.
“I had my daughter, she stayed with him. I just don’t know what happened to him, you know, the reason I’m here, but it’s like, I just don’t know what happened. You know,” said Hines’ mother to the jury.
Hines’ family told the court they were in the process of establishing a trust fund and that they were looking for a trust. They were looking for money to establish a foundation to be used for the benefit of Hines’ two young children and his girlfriend.