On the same day Dennis Marx engaged deputies in a gunfight at the Forsyth County, Ga., courthouse, the criminal case that left him feeling victimized was set to be concluded. The damage had been done, Wayne Crisci, who knew Marx for three decades, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. His friend felt helpless and increasingly desperate. “He's not what they're painting him to be. He's not a black helicopter guy,” said Crisci, rejecting any notion of Marx being an anti-government zealot. “He was a good person. Helped me out of a lot of jams.” Marx, heavily armed and wearing two sets of bulletproof vests, was shot dead Friday morning after driving an SUV onto the steps of the courthouse.
Sheriff Duane Piper said Marx intended to ram the SUV into the building and attach bombs to hostages. Deputy Daniel Rush, the first law enforcement officer to engage Marx, was shot in the leg and remains in stable condition at a local hospital. As the bullets flew outside, Marx's newly hired lawyer Manny Arora waited for his client to show up in Judge Jeffrey Bagley's courtroom for a hearing on charges of marijuana possession with the intent to distribute and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. “It's very confusing to me because he had a plea worked out — 60 days to serve, which means he actually serves 30,” Piper said. “Everything had worked his way.” In the nearly three years since his arrest, Marx had lost much of his savings and his ability to make a living, said Crisci, a former co-worker.