Currently in custody at the Montezuma County jail, a homeless man who claimed to be a combat veteran was discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps in 2008 after boot camp.
Military records obtained by The Journal reveal that Kai Blood, 26, was arrested for cocaine use while on leave on Feb. 5, 2008 and discharged as a reservist with the Marines about four months later.
“Pvt. Blood has demonstrated that he does not possess those qualities needed to serve honorably in the Marine Corps,” commanding officer N.F. Pugliese wrote in 2008 recommending a dishonorable discharge.
Last week, Blood’s defense attorney, Katie Whitney, argued at a sentencing hearing that her client suffered from mental-health issues after serving two combat tours in Afghanistan.
Blood was subsequently sentenced to 90 days in jail with credit for time served after pleading guilty to felony menacing stemming from a knife fight inside a Cortez residence in March. The court also ordered Blood to obtain mental health treatment from the Veterans Administration.
According to Whitney, Blood was diagnosed with mental-health disorders in 2012, and he relocated from Texas to Colorado to take advantage of the state’s decriminalization of marijuana.
Blood also faces trials in April on charges of tampering with a witness and domestic violence. Trial dates in those cases have been set for April.