August 30, 2016
By Lorra B.
“Come in the door is unlocked,” called the woman’s voice.
What happened next would change their lives forever.
Noman Early III planned an evening of fun and love that night in Bakersfield, California when he entered the house of the woman he was allegedly in love with. What he did not plan for that night was almost losing his life at the hands of three Marines when he entered the home.
Sergio Medina, Rodrigo Sanchez and Leonardo Ortiz seized Early III, bound him with zip-ties, beat him and threatened to kill him, according to Bakersfield Californian. Though he tried to fight back, Early III was pinned down on his stomach. When he tried to shout a sock was stuffed into his mouth and secured with duck-tape. Finally, Early III was almost rendered unconscious when a belt was secured around his neck and tightened.
The hockey-mask clad Marines claimed to have beaten Early III because they thought he was sleeping with one of their wives.
Early III was then held captive for about 30 minutes before he was threatened to be shot with his own gun.
Early III was then asked by the three Marines is he knew the woman he had come to see was married. According to court document, Early II stated, “She told me she was separated and getting a divorce.”
The attorney for Ortiz, Richard Middlebrook, stated that there was never any intention of killing or permanently injuring Early III, that “their training kicked in and they acted as they would have overseas by binding and interrogating someone.”
Before the three Marines were sentenced to prison, Early III told the court, “I knew what my fate was…I was going to be murdered.” Early III went on to say that the men never deserved to wear their uniforms and that they were simply ‘animals’ who needed to be taken off the streets.
Diane Reyes, Medina’s wife, tried to break off the affair, according to USMC Life, but accused Early III of being determined and refusing to back down.
The judge in the case, Judge John S. Somers, indicated that the three were ‘lucky’ not to have gotten life sentences because of the severity of the beating.
Early III was placed on dialysis after his kidneys failed and endured an orbital fracture and several head contusions.
All Early III’s injuries were sustained after Medina discovered that his wife and Early had shared a kiss while Medina had been deployed overseas.
Medina received six years in prison while both Sanchez and Oritz will serve three-year sentences.
The prosecutor, Brad Taconi, stated that the stupid decisions they made changed the path of their lives, changed the path of their families’ lives and changed the path of the victim’s life.”