[Marxism] Bringing the War Home
Brian_Shannon at verizon.net
Mon Aug 15 19:41:48 MDT 2005
DECORATED MARINE ACCUSED OF FIRING ON CROWD
Charged With Attempted Murder
By Denise Lavoie, Associated Press Writer | August 15, 2005
LAWRENCE, Mass. --A decorated Marine accused of firing a shotgun at a
crowd of club-goers pleaded innocent Monday to attempted murder and
other charges and was ordered to be evaluated at a state psychiatric
Sgt. Daniel Cotnoir, 33, of Lawrence, was named "Marine of the Year"
last month for his service in Iraq. A mortician by trade, he prepared
the bodies of dead U.S. soldiers for burial. After returning from 10
months in Iraq in November, Cotnoir said the job took a heavy
Early Saturday morning, police said, he pointed a 12-gauge shotgun out
the window of his second-floor apartment and fired a single shot at a
noisy crowd leaving nearby nightclubs. Lissette Cumba, 15, and Kelvin
Castro, 20, were both struck in the leg by fragments. They were treated
at local hospitals and released.
Cotnoir, a married father of two daughters, told police he feared for
the safety of his family after someone threw an empty juice bottle
through his bedroom window.
. . .
Cumba's cousin, Stephanie Tejeda, who was in the crowd that night,
described seeing the muzzle poking through the open window.
"I just thought he wanted to scare us to get away from the area," said
Tejeda, who attended Cotnoir's arraignment Monday in Lawrence District
Court. "Who shoots at an open crowd?"
Tejeda said she does not want to see Cotnoir go to prison. "I just
think he should get help. That's how I see it," she said.
But Cumba's uncle, James Rodriquez, was visibly angry after Cotnoir's
arraignment. "She's been crying all night," he said of his niece. "If
this man is sick, why was he holding weapons in his house?"
James Stokes, a retired minister who went to school with Cotnoir's
father, said he does not believe Daniel Cotnoir was trying to kill
anyone. "This man is a wonderful person," he said. "Something might
have happened when he came back from Iraq. ... He's out there picking
up body parts," he said.
Cotnoir and his father, Daniel Cotnoir, operate the Racicot Funeral
Home in Lawrence, about 30 miles north of Boston. In Iraq, Cotnoir
prepared the battered bodies of his fellow Marines for open-casket
funerals. In an interview with The Boston Globe last year, he described
retrieving charred and decimated remains. "What you see out there, it's
a real smash to reality," Cotnoir said.
Cotnoir is charged with two counts of armed assault with intent to
murder, two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and
one count of discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling.
. . .
Last month, Marine Corps Times chose Cotnoir over 180,000 other
candidates for its annual Marine of the Year award.
Now a Marine reservist, Cotnoir said in an interview last month with
the Eagle-Tribune newspaper that he was getting counseling at a
veterans hospital in Bedford.
"It's a lot harder to talk about the job now than it was at the time to
actually do it," he said. "The stories I've gained from my deployment
aren't the kind of stories you share."
Also on Monday, another Iraq war veteran appeared in court in Las Vegas
to face charges of using an assault rifle to kill a woman and wound a
man in an alley.
An attorney for Matthew Sepi, 20, said he acted in self-defense and
should be eligible for psychological treatment. Sepi, an American
Indian from Winslow, Ariz., moved to Las Vegas after being honorably
discharged as an Army specialist in May. Sepi told police he pulled an
assault rifle from beneath his coat and reacted when he was ambushed in
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