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Lawyers for Marine call 18-year-old Janesville serviceman's stabbing an accident

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Defense attorneys for a Marine accused of fatally stabbing a fellow military member on a California Marine Corps base are arguing the death was a tragic accident and the two friends were playing around with a knife.

The Orange County Register reports Thursday that several troops testified that the death was an accident at a preliminary hearing at Camp Pendleton. Pfc. Raymond W. Begay faces charges of murder and obstruction of justice in the death of 18-year-old Pfc. Ethan Barclay-Weberpal.

The hearing -- known as an Article 32 in the Uniform Code of Military Justice -- allows the defense and prosecution to introduce evidence and arguments.

Barclay-Weberpal of Janesville, Wisconsin, was stabbed Jan. 16 while sitting in formation with Marines.

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