Edward Gallagher, the decorated Navy SEAL accused of murder and attempted murder, has been found not guilty by a jury consisting of five Marines and two sailors Tuesday.
The Special Warfare Chief was accused of stabbing an injured ISIS fighter to death and of shooting at civilians while he was in Iraq in 2017. Two of those civilians were an elderly man and a child, according to a report from the New York Times. Seven people in Gallagher’s platoon said that he had committed these war crimes, the Washington Examiner reported.
A break came in the case when Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Corey Scott said on the stand that he had killed the already hurt ISIS teenager. Gallagher had stabbed the fighter, but Scott said that he was responsible for the boy’s death. He confessed to suffocating him so that the ISIS member wouldn’t be tortured by other Iraqi’s that had been captured, the according to the Washington Examiner.
“I knew he was going to die anyway,” said Scott during the trial, the Washington Examiner reported. “I wanted to save him from waking up to what had happened next.”
The prosecution presented to witnesses who told the court that they had seen Gallagher stab the teenager, and alleged that he bragged about it aftwards, the Washington Examiner reported. Photographs presented during trial showed Gallagher posing with the body of the ISIS fighter.
The case received national attention when President Donald Trump said that he was considering pardoning Gallagher if the Navy SEAL had been found guilty. It also received press before the trial began. Prosecutors had put a tracking software in their emails with the defense team, and this resulted in a lowered maximum possible sentence for Gallagher.
BREAKING: SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher NOT GUILTY on all major counts.
Convicted for posing with the body. Four months, sentenced to time served.
It’s over. Gallagher is an American hero.
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) July 2, 2019
The SEALs who accused Gallagher of war crimes were disgruntled and disliked Gallagher, Tim Parlatore, the lead defense attorney, alleged according to the Washington Examiner.
“This case is not about murder, it’s about mutiny,” Parlatore said.
Gallagher has only been convicted of posing with a body and was sentenced to time served.
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