JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – A Camp Lejeune Marine appears in court on indecent exposure charges.
28-year-old Justin Abbott is accused of exposing himself to Onslow County kids. He appeared in Onslow County District Court Wednesday morning and was released back into military custody.
Abbott will remain in the brig until he’s tried for similar offenses aboard Camp Lejeune.
District attorneys, Onslow County deputies, and Camp Lejeune Marine officials all have their hands in the case.
On Monday, 28-year-old Justin Abbott had been scheduled to appear in court on the indecent exposure charges from the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office, but by late afternoon he had not shown up.
The clerk’s office said a judge issued a bench warrant for his arrest at that time.
WNCT found out from Marine Officials that they had booked him in the Brig and were charging him with similar offenses that happened on base.
When we followed up with the clerk’s office on Tuesday, an employee told WNCT it was the first time hearing that.
That employee transferred us to her supervisor who said that the DA’s office was going to have to be notified immediately because the bench warrant was still out there.
There’s also confusion about his bond.
The clerk’s office said he was released on a 15 thousand dollar bond, but it had actually been changed to unsecured.
WNCT asked the sheriff about working on joint investigations with military officials.
“If we have a military member that for some reason is involved in a crime we let the military know, and then the military prosecutors and the state prosecutors will work together and decide what happened, what kind of crime happened, where did it happen and then who should prosecute,” said Sheriff Hans Miller.
While it’s still unclear the direct line of communication between the District Attorney’s office and military prosecutors, Marine officials released a statement about how it should work.
“The military is responsible for prosecuting service members who commit misconduct on base. While civilian jurisdictions may prosecute service members who violate the law out in town, the military may prosecute offenses by service members out in town if civilian authorities decline to prosecute,” said Capt. Kendra Motz, the deputy director for II MEF public affairs.
Abbott could spend upwards of a hundred days in the brig on pre-trial confinement, which is different than a local jail because a service member cannot be bailed out.
So what determines pre-trial confinement?
There must be reasonable grounds that an offense triable by a court-martial has been committed, the prisoner committed the alleged offense, that confinement is necessary because it is foreseeable that the prisoner may not appear for trials or hearings, and lastly, other methods are inadequate.
Abbott’s case is still under investigation by both the sheriff’s office and NCIS.