Camp Pendleton 8 Get Support
Money and messages from around the nation are being delivered to seven Marines and a Navy corpsman held in the Camp Pendleton brig as they await the results of an investigation into the alleged abduction and slaying of an Iraqi civilian.
Local residents have rallied in support of the troops at Camp Pendleton's Oceanside gate, and several smaller Marine support groups are lining up behind the men and their families.
Families of three of the men have established legal defense funds and are accepting contributions. Jeremiah Sullivan III, a San Diego attorney representing the unnamed Navy corpsman, a medic, had set up the first such account several weeks ago at the Web site, www.patriotdefensefund.com.
"There have been some moving letters, and when I met with my client on Father's Day, he was in disbelief with the amount of support from around the country."
Sullivan said he didn't know how much money has been raised, but said his client's family received one check for $1,000.
E-mails and phone calls have come into his office from people as far away as New Zealand, he said.
The mother of one of the Marines, who asked not to be identified, said she and the families of the other men estimated that it could cost $500,000 or more to pay all the attorneys' fees for the eight men should they face charges.
Joseph Casas, a San Diego attorney representing 20-year-old Pfc. John Jodka of Encinitas, concurred, estimating that the costs to defend the group could range from $400,000 to $600,000.
"It could go on for a good part of four to six months," Casas said. "There are a lot of witnesses to interview, a potential trip to Iraq and visits to the Camp Pendleton brig. It will be a big production for each one of the attorneys."
Casas helped the Jodka family establish a trust account that is publicized on the Web site, www.innocentmarine.com.