A government attorney says the fatal stabbing last month of a Marine in the District of Columbia was a hate crime.
The fellow Marine accused in the man's death, 20-year-old Michael Poth, appeared in court for a preliminary hearing. The prosecution contends the stabbing happened minutes after Poth saw Philip Bushong hug an openly gay friend and that Poth used a gay slur.
Poth's attorney says the stabbing was in self-defense.
Before the hearing, two Marines entered the court and testified that Poth had been given an other-than-honorable discharge for his conduct before last month's stabbing, and the Marine Corps had been working on Poth's discharge since November, when he tested positive for using synthetic marijuana. Poth had also verbally assaulted other soldiers.