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AWOL Marine tells reporter: 'I'm going to turn myself in, just not right now'

Posted July 22, 2015

— A Camp Lejeune Marine who broke out of custody and allegedly threatened to kill his estranged wife called a Detroit TV reporter Tuesday and said everything has been blown "out of proportion" and that he plans to turn himself in, "just not right now."

Clenard Gee-Simmons, 21, fled from a low priority lockdown unit at Camp Lejeune on Monday and made "credible threats" toward his 19-year-old wife and her family, who live in Pontiac, Mich., according to Michigan authorities.

A member of Gee-Simmons' platoon reported that the Marine has an AK-47 assault rifle.

Gee-Simmons emailed WXYZ Detroit reporter Jonathan Carlson on Tuesday and claimed that "everyone had it wrong, and he wanted to talk before turning himself in," Carlson said.

Carlson alerted the sheriff and got the AWOL Marine on the phone.

“I’m not going to tell you where I’m at right now," Gee-Simmons said. "You mentioned in a post that I was AWOL and trying to kill my ex-wife. That is not accurate at all.”

Gee-Simmons said he is not armed and is "nowhere near Michigan." He left base, he said, due to stress.

"They took my Facebook post and blew it out of proportion ... I made a post saying I was probably going to go to Michigan, just so they wouldn’t look for me," he said. "I’m going to turn myself in, just not right now. I’m going to drive back onto base and right there at the main gate tell them where I’m at."

When Carlson asked if Gee-Simmons was in North Carolina, he said no, but that he's "close to North Carolina."

Authorities say Gee-Simmons made multiple threats to kill his wife and her family before she left North Carolina for Michigan. They say she had filed for divorce.

Gee-Simmons drives a 2011 Toyota Camry with metallic teal paint and North Carolina license plate DEP 1561.

8 Comments

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  • Belle Boyd Jul 22, 2015
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    He broke out and is now AWOL. He made threats to his ex-wife. He has more problems than just being AWOL.
    In my opinion 21 and 19 is too young to get married. Yes you are adults, but are still kids.

  • Bonnie Craig Jul 22, 2015
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    I still think there are 2 sides to every story. Although AWOL, that might be his only problem. Who know, maybe he caught his 19-year old wife cheating and that pushed him over the edge. Every one is so quick to make assumptions. I pray that he does turn himself in.

  • Jon Gregory Jul 22, 2015
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    Yeah right... I don't see that happening.

  • Belle Boyd Jul 22, 2015
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    He made threats and broke out of custody. Yes there is assistance, but he didn't use it. Now this makes him look more dangerous than he might be.

  • Norman Lewis Jul 22, 2015
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    I wonder if anyone believes he will turn himself in and if this is just a ploy to get the authorities to delay looking for him. What happened to "death before dishonor?" This Marine has disgraced the name.

  • Erik Bisson Jul 22, 2015
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    Maybe so, but they're still options out there for assistance that don't require the law enforcement to take action while creating tension in the community about a possibly armed and trained service member that hasn't been caught yet.

  • Belle Boyd Jul 22, 2015
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    I think he may be a little more than stressed.

  • Erik Bisson Jul 22, 2015
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    If he is suffering from "stress", instead of going AWOL/Article 86 for you UCMJ folks, there are programs on base to assist struggling Marines to cope with their issues and problems. First and foremost contacting the Chaplin is an option, or Military OneSource and so on.

    But never should he have taken matters in his own hands because now he has caused more concerns for the community and himself.

    My message to him from one Marine to another, is to "...turn yourself in now for the community's safety and please seek assistance if you need/want it - ask for it"

    Do the right thing, you earned the title going through bootcamp, core values should point you in the right direction.