Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher not guilty of murder in ISIS detainee’s death
Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher not guilty of murder in ISIS detainee’s death
Eddie Gallagher with his wife Andrea Gallagher Getty Images
03 July, 2019, 19:38
There were five Marines and two sailors on the jury, including one Navy SEAL.
The other charges against Gallagher as an indiscriminate and reckless bloodthirsty killer stem from his role as a sniper in 2017. The penalty will be discussed in court Wednesday. The one conviction on the least serious of the charges carries a sentence of four months for which Gallagher will get credit for time already served.
Gallagher faced seven criminal charges in all.
Gallagher said a small group of SEALs "concocted" the accusations against him, arguing they do not represent the SEAL community as a whole.
The prosecution said Gallagher was incriminated by his own text messages and photos, including one of him holding the dead militant up by the hair and clutching a knife in his other hand. "I got a cool story for you when I get back. I've got my knife skills on".
Almost a dozen members of Gallagher's platoon testified against him, revealing that almost all the platoon members posed for photos with the dead prisoner and witnessed Gallagher read his re-enlistment oath near the body, actions prosecutors said proved that Gallagher was "proud" of his actions.
As Gallagher and others tended to the teen, he allegedly pulled out a hunting knife and stabbed the boy multiple times, prosecutors argued.
The panel weighed whether Gallagher, a 19-year veteran on his eighth deployment, went off the rails and fatally stabbed the war prisoner on May 3, 2017, as a kind of trophy kill, or was the victim of allegations fabricated after the platoon returned to San Diego to stop him from getting a Silver Star and being promoted.
The attorney said there's no body, no forensics, and the SEALs who testified against Gallagher lied because they didn't like his demanding leadership.
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"No body, no forensics, no science, no evidence, no case", Parlatore said during his closing arguments.
On cross-examination, Scott told the defense that he never saw any blood after the stabbing.
The prosecution's case was dealt a major blow when a witness said that it was he, not Gallagher, who had put an end to the captive ISIL fighter's life. Scott said he held down the boy's breathing tube because he did not want him to suffer or be tortured by Iraqis.
Navy authorities said Gallagher gets credit for almost seven months of time already served in pretrial custody, so he would presumably remain a free man.
"The government's evidence in this case comes from Chief Gallagher's words, Chief Gallagher's actions and Chief Gallagher's SEALs", Pietrzyk said. They then brought in the fighter to Gallagher's platoon, where Gallagher and other Navy SEAL medics treated him, but he did not survive.
Throughout the trial, Gallagher's attorney claimed the seven accusers disliked Gallagher's tough style.
The defense rejected the allegations, dismissing the witnesses' accounts as those of disgruntled employees. Navy Judge Captain Aaron Rugh removed prosecutor Cmdr.
The trial followed months of turmoil in one of the Navy's most prominent war cases, including the removal of the Navy's lead prosecutor after it was discovered the prosecution had tracked the emails of the defence team to find a news leak.
Mr Trump, who intervened earlier this year to have Gallagher moved from the brig to less restrictive confinement, tweeted congratulations to the SEAL and his family.
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