Navy SEAL Found Not Guilty Of Murdering Member Of ISIS

Navy SEAL Found Not Guilty Of Murdering Member Of ISIS

The jury in the case of Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher found him not guilty of murder and attempted murder Tuesday.

Gallagher was only found guilty for posing with the body, which is in violation of the Army's code of conduct. It took the jury less than two days of deliberations to reach its verdict.

Gallagher reacted to the verdict with "tears of joy, emotion, freedom and absolute euphoria", his defense lawyer Marc Mukasey said.

"Everybody wants to celebrate the holiday, right?" said Mukasey wearing a big smile, a charcoal suit and "Free Eddie" baseball cap emblazoned with the American Flag. "It's a huge weight off the Gallaghers".

Gallagher, who did not testify in his own defense, insisted his accusers were disgruntled subordinates with no prior battlefield experience and had fabricated allegations against him over grievances with his leadership style and tactics.

Asked what his message might be to future Navy SEALS, Gallagher said "loyalty is a trait that seems to be lost".

One image shows him clutching the hair of the corpse with one hand and holding a knife in another. The medic said that while Gallagher did injure the captive, he did not kill him.

He endured a dramatic trial where defense attorneys argued that Gallagher's platoon "concocted" the accusations against him, pointing to his history as a decorated SEAL with 19 years of service with multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and earned the Bronze Star with V for Valor twice, a Meritorious Unit Commendation and a trio of Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medals, among other recognitions and decorations.

The case gave the public a rare view of a deep division in the insular and highly revered SEAL community.

Several fellow SEAL team members testified he fatally stabbed the captured Iraqi prisoner in the neck with a custom-made knife after the teenage fighter was brought to Gallagher's outpost for medical treatment.

Under the military system, two-thirds of a jury needs to agree to convict.

The panel of five United States marines and two sailors, including one Seal, listened earlier on Tuesday to a recording of Lt Thomas MacNeil, the first witness in the court martial of Gallagher. He has pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted murder.

On Tuesday, Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher was convicted of unlawfully posing for pictures with the teenage detainee's dead body.

His attorney, Timothy Parlatore, said the SEALs who reported Gallagher were lying, and he contended the government was relying entirely on their word in the face of a complete absence of physical evidence that any of the charged events ever occurred.

Mr Scott, who was given immunity from prosecution, acknowledged during questioning that he made the revelation to spare Mr Gallagher, who is married and has children, from going to prison.

The prosecutor, Lt. Brian John, said Gallagher was the platoon chief and should not have been the centerpiece of the photos in which almost all the members posed with the body.

However, the case turned when a key prosecution witness testified that in fact, it was he that caused the prisoner's death.

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