Lockheed Martin contractor Rick Rodriguez, a 20-year Army veteran and Green Beret, was pronounced dead Jan. 4, 2019, after a physical altercation involving multiple active-duty servicemembers on New Year’s Eve in Iraq. Photo via Facebook.
The trials for three members of a Marine Raider battalion charged in the 2019 death of a former Green Beret have been delayed.
A spokesman for Marine Forces Special Operations Command, or MARSOC, confirmed that Navy Chief Petty Officer Eric Gilmet’s involuntary manslaughter trial has been rescheduled for May 10 through May 28. It was originally scheduled to begin March 1 and conclude Friday.
MARSOC spokesman Maj. Hector Infante said Gilmet’s counsel requested the delay. Gilmet is a corpsman assigned to MARSOC.
A trial for the two Marine Raiders also charged with involuntary manslaughter, Gunnery Sgts. Joshua Negron and Daniel Draher, has been postponed to an undetermined date. Their trial was originally scheduled for April 6 to April 30, Infante said.
However, a status hearing involving the availability of a foreign witness in that case was scheduled to be held March 18, Infante said. The final dates of Negron and Draher’s trial were to be determined after that hearing, but it is unclear what the result was.
Gilmet, Negron and Draher were members of the 3rd Marine Raider Battalion when Gilmet allegedly got into an argument with former Green Beret Rick Rodriguez at a bar in Erbil, Iraq, on Jan. 1, 2019. Following the argument, the three Marines allegedly got into a fight with Rodriguez, who was then working as a contractor for Lockheed Martin.
Negron allegedly punched Rodriguez in the head, seriously injuring him. The Marines took Rodriguez back to his quarters on the base. When he later began having trouble breathing, they took him to the base’s trauma center, Drahar’s attorney told Task & Purpose in 2019.
Rodriguez, who had served 20 years in the Army, was taken to Landstuhl, Germany, for treatment, but died Jan. 4, 2019.
Ten other Marines were disciplined administratively after the investigation into Rodriguez’ death uncovered additional misconduct.
This is not the first time these trials have been postponed. Gilmet’s trial was previously scheduled to take place last October. Negron was slated to stand trial last November, and Draher’s trial was previously scheduled for December.
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