Embattled publisher Kris Millegan of Walterville sent a message this week that his company TrineDay and author retired Lt. Col. Daniel Marvin were found not guilty of libel and defamation in a South Carolina U.S. District Court.
"This verdict was reached after extremely long and complex jury instructions by Federal Judge David Norton," says Millegan. The jury was unanimous after two hours of deliberations, he says, and "the jurors all asked to have their exhibit books signed."
A counterclaim against the plaintiffs was also decided by the jury, but not upheld. Millegan says he hopes through the courts to recoup some of his $100,000 in legal fees.
The $700,000 suit was filed by seven men who served with Marvin in Vietnam. They objected to his book, Expendable Elite: One Soldier's Journey Into Covert Warfare, saying the book provided a "false, libelous, defamatory, embarrassing and humiliating" account of their activities in the war.
"We won the case," says Millegan. "Our defense was truth."
The plaintiffs, backed by the Special Forces Association, have threatened to appeal the verdict, says Millegan. — TJT