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The Crossroads of Special Operations

Monday, January 17, 2022

The Marine Corps may have blown its case against special operators accused of killing a former Green Beret | Task & Purpose

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A high-ranking Marine Corps lawyer is accused of interfering in the legal process surrounding the death of Rick Anthony Rodriguez, a former Green Beret who died in Iraq while he was working as a contractor for Lockheed Martin.

Three men, Chief Petty Officer Eric Gilmet, Gunnery Sgt. Daniel Draher, and Gunnery Sgt. Joshua Negron, were charged with negligent homicide among other charges stemming from an altercation with Rodriguez on New Year’s Day, 2019.

Rodriguez was knocked out during the physical confrontation, he was then brought back to his quarters where he began experiencing serious respiratory issues. After he was treated by on-base medical personnel he was transferred to Landstuhl, Germany where he died on January 4th.

The attorneys of the three men are accusing Col. Christopher Shaw, deputy director for the Judge Advocate Division, of unlawful command influence as they say he made implicit threats against Marine Capt. Matthew Thomas who is representing Gilmet.

Shaw apparently told Thomas during a meeting with the defense counsel at Camp Lejune that it was “legal fiction” to think attorneys are protected from outside influence. He went on to tell Thomas that the Marine Corps are a small community and that any promotion board he would stand before would be aware of what cases he has worked.

Several attorneys present at the meeting expressed concern that Thomas would be unable to proceed working on the case and honor the defendant’s Constitutional rights with the knowledge of Shaw’s comments.

Source: https://taskandpurpose.com/news/marine-corps-special-operators-murder-case-former-green-beret

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