A Marine veteran arrested in Taiwan for brutally murdering a man with a machete reportedly had discipline issues in the Corps.
Serving from 2006-2009, 30-year-old Ewart Odane Bent served as a Cryogenics Equipment Operator with the Okinawa-based 1st Marine Aircraft Wing before he was discharged as a Private.
On August 24, he was hauled in for the grisly machete murder of Sanjay Ryan, a 43-year-old Canadian who was chained down and hacked to death only a few days prior.
“Bent’s rank at discharge is indicative of the fact that the character of his service was incongruent with Marine Corps’ expectations and standards,” said Marine Manpower and Reserve Affairs spokeswoman Yvonne Carlock said in response to an inquiry by Stars and Stripes.
Bent’s uniform was surprisingly sparse of ribbons, having never deployed and receiving only the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.
Taiwanese media reported that Bent worked for Oren Shlomo Mayer, an Israeli-American IDF veteran and locally-recognized “drug dealer” who kept Taiwan supplied with marijuana. When he wasn’t working for Mayer at his tattoo shop front, he reportedly taught English at a cram school.
The homicide is reportedly believed to be drug-related, as Ryan was arrested on drug charges. It is suspected by Taiwanese police that Bent and Mayer -who were arrested in recent weeks for drug charges- suspected Ryan had ratted them out and decided to silence him.
Ryan was walking his dog when he was ambushed, held down and chopped up. After he was killed, his body parts were placed in bags and dumped in a nearby river. His murder may have been unknown for much longer had his dog not fled to his home, leading Ryan’s friends back to the scene of the crime.
While a third suspect by the name of Wu Hsuan -who admitted to buying the machetes and being the lookout- has fingered the men in the grisly killings, Bent denies having anything to do with the murder, and Mayer has since fled to the Philippines. The Taiwanese government is currently working to extradite him.
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