The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces is currently examining the case of Navy Chief Petty Officer Eric Gilmet, who is one of the three defendants known as the “MARSOC 3.” They have been charged with involuntary manslaughter, negligent homicide, obstruction of justice, and violation of a lawful order related to the death of U.S. contractor and Green Beret veteran Rick Rodriguez in Iraq in 2019. In February 2022, Navy Cmdr. Hayes C. Larsen, a military judge, dismissed the case against Gilmet. However, an intermediate appellate court later reinstated the charges.
If the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces dismisses the case, it could mark the end of the high-profile “MARSOC 3” legal proceedings. During the hearing, the judges posed challenging questions to the government representatives, which Gilmet’s defense attorney Colby Vokey considers an encouraging sign. The legal battle has caught the attention of Congress and involves three members of the Marine Corps’ elite special operations community.
If the Court of Appeals decides to proceed with Gilmet’s case, the prosecution will face difficulties due to the immunity granted to Gilmet for testifying in the trials of the other two defendants. A decision from the Court of Appeals is anticipated to take several weeks.