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Local service members charged with serious crimes

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Local Marines in trouble with the law. In our area, there's no shortage of service members charged with serious crimes, the most recent being the Camp Lejeune Marine who police say murdered two women this week and shot five others in Texas.

9 On Your Side spoke with a local therapist about what could be behind these types of violent crimes.

In April, a Camp Lejeune Marine, 21-year-old Larry Forrest, was charged with first degree murder for shooting 65-year-old Kim Flournoy outside a bingo hall in Jacksonville.

Also in April, a Cherry Point Marine, 21-year-old David Lorevil was charged with attempted first degree murder for shooting a man in the leg in Greenville.

In February, a Camp Lejeune Marine, 22-year-old Rodney Burton, suspected of killing his 11-month-old baby in Jacksonville committed suicide when police came to question him.

Just this week another Camp Lejeune Marine, 23-year-old Esteban J. Smith, died in a police shootout in Texas after they say he killed two women and shot five others.

Cathy Gneiting is a therapist based in Jacksonville, where 90 percent of her clients are in the military.
She says it's possible PTSD could have led to some of these crimes, but more than likely it's not.

"I think the biggest problem with the military is there is an incredible amount of stress," she said.

Gneiting says Marines are trained to be killers, and if they're poor at managing their stress and anger, it could take them over the edge.

"I think that more people have awareness of what counseling can do for you," Gneiting says.

To help Marines manage their stress, Gneiting says Camp Lejeune offers a family readiness officer, a family counseling center, and chaplains.

"The military, under Tricare, pays for your counseling," she said, and that encouragement is helping some service members get the mental health treatment they need.

Gneiting says counselors in Jacksonville typically charge anywhere from $80 to $120 an hour for a private session.

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