In today’s episode, we hear from Don Marcari (view his law firm’s website here – NC, SC, and VA) who was David Cox’s lawyer in Gitmo after he was involved in the hazing of a fellow marine. David and the other marines involved in the incident were charged with attempted murder and faced decades in jail. But there was an offer on the table – David could take an other than honorable discharge and go home. It sounds like an easy decision, but David said he was simply following orders and he decided to fight the charges in court.
This story became the inspiration for the hit movie ‘A Few Good Men.’ After the movie was released, David was outspoken about the differences between the movie and what really happened in Gitmo and he was planning to file a lawsuit against the filmmakers. But before he could do so, David was murdered. He was shot from behind once in the base of the neck and three more times in the left side of his torso.
- David’s article, ‘Art Imitates Life: Natick resident sues over plot of the movie “A Few Good Men”‘ from the Natick Bulletin, February 1993:
- Despite the above article, David was not a part of the lawsuit because he was murdered before it could come together. The lawsuit was filed by five of the other marines involved in the incident after he went missing:
February 1994 (David disappeared January 5th 1994)
VALERIE KUKLENSKI United Press International
A FEW GOOD LAWYERS: A few not-so-good Marines have taken legal action in Texas against Castle Rock Entertainment, writer Aaron Sorkin, director Rob Reiner and others over the Tom Cruise-Jack Nicholson hit movie ”A Few Good Men,” which the Marines contend was based on their own court-martial for the hazing of a young recruit. The ex-Marines — Kevin Palermo, Ronald Peterson Jr., Brett Bentley, Dennis Snyder and Christopher Lee Valdez — claim Lt. Debra Sorkin, the attorney who defended one of them, later told her brother Aaron about the case. Attorney Gary Patterson, who filed the suit, said the scene about a gasoline-soaked rag being stuffed down the throat of their hazing victim was taken straight from actual court-martial records. Patterson noted that unlike the character in the movie, the hazing victim in the real 1986 Guantanemo Bay incident survived. ”The profits made from this movie and subsequent video rentals (are) mind-boggling,” the lawsuit said. ”However, plaintiffs did not give permission to defendants to make public what is a very private event.” Now that their little secret has been blown, the ex-Marines want $10 million in damages.