updated 12/15/2007 5:08:02 PM ET 2007-12-15T22:08:02

A military jury has found a Marine drill instructor not guilty of abusing his recruits but convicted him of failing to report abuses committed by others.

Marine Sgt. Brian M. Wendel was also convicted Friday of drinking beer in the drill instructors' office while off duty at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego.

He faces a maximum sentence of a year in the brig, a dishonorable discharge and reduction in rank to private when he is sentenced Monday.

Wendel, 30, of Columbus, Ohio, clenched his jaw but otherwise showed no emotion as the verdict was read. He declined to comment until after his sentencing hearing.

Wendel was found not guilty of the most serious charges of abuse, maltreatment and making a false statement. He was convicted of disobeying an order and dereliction of duty.

His weeklong court-martial followed that of former Sgt. Jerrod Glass, who was convicted last month of eight counts of cruelty and maltreatment, destruction of personal property, assault and violating orders on how to properly treat recruits.

A third drill instructor, Sgt. Robert C. Hankins, is awaiting trial.

Glass, 25, was sentenced to six months in the brig, a dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and reduction in rank to private.

Prosecutors said he ordered one recruit to jump headfirst into a trash can and then pushed him in farther. He was also accused of striking recruits with a tent pole and a heavy flashlight. No one was seriously hurt.

Glass complained after his sentencing that he only did what other drill instructors had taught him to do. He said Wendel, Hankins and himself were being singled out in an effort to show the public the Marine Corps takes recruit abuse seriously.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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