Court-martials have again been delayed for three Marine Raiders – Gunnery Sergeant Joshua Negron, Gunnery Sergeant Daniel Draher, and Chief Petty Officer Eric Gilmet – also known as the MARSOC 3.
Despite exonerating video evidence and testimony, each Raider has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, negligent homicide, obstructing justice, and violations of orders. The charges stem from an incident that took place in Erbil, Kurdistan (Northern Iraq) on New Year’s Eve, 2018.
According to video footage — and legal documents obtained from the case’s Article 32 preliminary hearing — an inebriated military contractor initiated a physical confrontation with the Raiders. After the contractor, a retired Green Beret, landed two punches and was in the process of throwing a third, one of the Raiders stepped in to defend his fellow Raider from receiving additional harm and knocked the contractor out with one punch.
After the contractor’s friends dispersed, the Raiders cared for the contractor through the night until he unexpectedly became unresponsive. Four days later medical professionals confirmed that the contractor died of complications stemming from his intoxicated state and from having choked on his own vomit.
Trial dates for Chief Eric Gilmet were originally scheduled for October 2020 only to be pushed back to March 2021. At this time, Chief Gilmet’s court-martial is scheduled for May 10-28, 2021 at Camp Lejeune, NC.
According to a source close to the case, the reason for the trial delay is associated with the unavailability of a key witness and medical professional who is unable to travel into the United States due to COVID-related international travel restrictions.
During the extended period of waiting to go to trial, each of the MARSOC 3 has had his security clearance suspended, promotion put on hold, been removed from their Marine Raider teams, and suffered the termination of his special duty assignment pay.
Further delays to the trial dates are possible.
Trial dates for GySgt Danny Draher and GySgt Josh Negron have also been pushed back twice before. The two are now awaiting confirmation of new dates for a common trial that will also take place at Camp Lejeune, NC.
With the more complicated common trial, defendants are tried at the same time, but they receive separate rulings and even have separate juries. A joint trial would have seen the defendants receive the same rulings and shared the same jury.
This report was written by Nick Coffman and originally published on United American Patriots.