Man Guilty Of Deadly Hit-And-Run Asks To Join The Marines To Avoid Prison


After being convicted of a 2015 hit-and-run in Verdigris, Oklahoma, that left one teen dead and another critically injured, Gage Shriver posed an alternative punishment to his judge: that, instead of a 25-year prison stretch, he be allowed to do penance by joining the Marines.

Yeah… no.

“I’m not the type of person that would leave those girls there for dead,” Shriver, 21, said, referring to the women he’d left for dead — mortally wounded 18-year-old Noelle New and grievously injured Maranda Talley — in a pre-sentencing investigation report obtained by the Oklahoma City-based Fox News affiliate KOKI.

Instead, he said in the report, “I ask that you allow me to join the Marine Corps.”

The proposal didn’t fly… at all. Instead, Shriver was handed a first-degree manslaughter conviction, and his brother, Dakota Shriver, 23, was convicted of second-degree murder. The brothers were sentenced to 25 years in prison Dec. 9, according to Tulsa World.

New and Talley, who survived and is now 20, were walking to a convenience store in the early morning hours on June 5, 2015, when they were struck by a pickup truck driven by Gage Shriver. The Shrivers left the scene. The incident had occurred shortly after Gage was punched by his brother, Dakota, during a drunken argument, according to Tulsa World. The paper also reported that Gage Shriver had a “0.023 percent blood alcohol concentration” when he was tested seven hours after the crash — because he was under 21 at the time, the amount met the threshold for drunk driving.

The teens were left on the side of the road for more than two hours before the Shrivers returned to the scene, with their mother, Dorothea Butanda, who called 911. The brothers’ claims that they didn’t see New or Talley until they came back to the scene was a point of contention in the court case, and was part of the reasoning behind the first-degree manslaughter charge for Gage Shriver, and the second-degree murder charge for his brother, who admitted to misleading police. Butanda faces charges as an accessory; officials claim she attempted to conceal her sons’ involvement in the incident and will have her day in court in January 2018, Tulsa World reports.

Gage Shriver’s attempt to skirt prison has its roots in the “go to jail or join the military” myth; a decades-old but now largely defunct practice in which one could opt out of a sentence for some infractions by serving in uniform.

Related: Marine Colonel Arrested In Massive, Aptly Named Prostitution Sting »

While judges often have the ability to offer alternative sentences such as military service — usually for minor charges — there’s no requirement that the service actually accept the candidate; in some cases, recruiters are strictly barred from doing so, The Balance notes.

That was the case for Michael Guerra from North Tonawanda, New York, who received a conditional sentence in 2006 for aggravated assault; he was given the option of dodging a yearlong prison stint by joining the Army, Stars and Stripes reported. But because Guerra’s criminal case was still open — pending his enlistment in the service — the Army could not accept him, since the service is barred from enlisting individuals who are facing pending charges.

Gage Shriver’s proposal never got that far — neither did his attorney’s request for leniency in the form of split sentences and supervised probation for the brothers, according to Tulsa World.  

It’s not surprising that a drunk driver who fled the scene of a fatal crash to allegedly hide evidence of his involvement doesn’t really meet the standards of “the few, the proud.” Nor does it make sense for vehicular slaughterers to reap service benefits like free health care, education, and regular wages.

“So, yeah, I was just kind of shocked and I thought, oh, so you just want a little slap on the wrist,” New’s mother, Brandy Whitmire, said, according to KFOR-TV an Oklahoma City-based NBC News affiliate, before adding that Shriver’s request stemmed from “a lifetime of not being held accountable.”

Army and Air Force Exchange Service officials are warning soldiers and military families to be aware of scammers using the Exchange's logo.

In a news release Wednesday, Exchange officials said scammers using the name "Exchange Inc." have "fooled" soldiers and airmen to broker the sale of used cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats and boat engines.

Read More Show Less

KABUL (Reuters) - The Islamic State (IS) militant group claimed responsibility on Sunday for a suicide blast at a wedding reception in Afghanistan that killed 63 people, underlining the dangers the country faces even if the Taliban agrees a pact with the United States.

The Saturday night attack came as the Taliban and the United States try to negotiate an agreement on the withdrawal of U.S. forces in exchange for a Taliban commitment on security and peace talks with Afghanistan's U.S.-backed government.

Islamic State fighters, who first appeared in Afghanistan in 2014 and have since made inroads in the east and north, are not involved in the talks. They are battling government and U.S.-led international forces and the Taliban.

The group, in a statement on the messaging website Telegram, claimed responsibility for the attack at a west Kabul wedding hall in a minority Shi'ite neighborhood, saying its bomber had been able to infiltrate the reception and detonate his explosives in the crowd of "infidels".

Read More Show Less
U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Brian Kimball

Editor's Note: This article by Oriana Pawlyk originally appeared on, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

Calling aviation geeks in New York City: The British are coming.

In their first visit to the United States since 2008, the Royal Air Force "Red Arrows" will perform an aerial demonstration next week over the Hudson River, according to an Air Force news release. F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, the Air Force Thunderbirds and Navy Blue Angels demonstration teams will also be part of the show.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Air National Guard/Staff Sgt. Michelle Y. Alvarez-Rea

Frances and Efrain Santiago, natives of Puerto Rico, wanted to show their support last month for protesters back home seeking to oust the island's governor.

The couple flew the flag of Puerto Rico on the garage of their Kissimmee home. It ticked off the homeowners association.

Someone from the Rolling Hills Estates Homeowners Association left a letter at their home, citing a "flag violation" and warning: "Please rectify the listed violation or you may incur a fine."

Frances Santiago, 38, an Army veteran, demanded to know why.

Read More Show Less
Todd Rosenberg/AP

A West Point graduate received a waiver from the U.S. Army to sign with the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday, and play in the NFL while serving as an active-duty soldier.

The waiver for 2nd Lt. Brett Toth was first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter, who said that Toth signed a three-year deal with the Eagles. Toth graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 2018.

Read More Show Less