National Security

Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher Found Not Guilty of War Crimes

Navy Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher walks out of military court during lunch recess on July 2, 2019 / Getty Images

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

Gallagher, a chief special warfare operator, was accused by several members of his own platoon of killing an already injured teenage ISIS fighter in Iraq in 2017, as well firing at civilians. The jury of five Marines and two sailors reached a not guilty verdict after the prosecution and defense made their closing arguments Monday.

Two prosecution witnesses testified they saw Gallagher stab the teenager, and the prosecutors presented texts that they said showed Gallagher bragging about the killing. Later on the stand, Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Corey Scott said he was the one who killed the teenage fighter. Scott said he asphyxiated the teen after Gallagher had stabbed him to save him from his Iraqi captors.

"I knew he was going to die anyway. I wanted to save him from waking up to what had happened next," Scott said.

Scott was granted immunity for his testimony, so he can't be tried for the murder of the teenager. Prosecutors are now considering bringing him up on perjury charges for lying in previous statements to investigators.

Gallagher was convicted for posing for a picture with the dead body, which could carry a maximum sentence of four months.

It was reported in May that Gallagher was among those being considered for pardon by President Donald Trump.