Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher sentenced to reduction in rank and partial pay

Navy SEAL Murder Case

Navy SEAL cried tears of 'freedom' after being acquitted of murder

He was found guilty of one charge related to taking a photo with the corpse of the Islamic State fighter, which other platoon members did as well during their deployment in 2017 to Mosul, Iraq.

A jury did convict Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher of posing for photographs with a dead war casualty.

As Gallagher and others tended to the teen, he allegedly pulled out a hunting knife and stabbed the boy multiple times, prosecutors argued.

During the trial, it was noted that seven members of Gallagher's own platoon leveled the accusations against him.

Two prosecution witnesses testified they saw Gallagher stab the teenager, and the prosecutors presented texts that they said showed Gallagher bragging about the killing. "I got my knife skills on". While the verdict means Gallagher will walk away a free man, the charge could result in a penalty affecting Gallagher's rank, which would in turn affect his salary and pension.

The defense said it was just gallows humor and pointed out that nearly all platoon members who testified against him also posed with the corpse.

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"Good story behind this one", one text message read, according to prosecutors. Gallagher was also credited with 201 days of pretrial confinement.

Since the investigation into Gallagher's murderous activities did not began until a year after they were committed, the Naval prosecution lacked any physical evidence and their case was based entirely on the testimony of cooperating soldiers.

The defense rejected the allegations, dismissing the witnesses' accounts as those of disgruntled employees.

Gallagher's record of murderous behavior goes back further than 2017.

Prosecutors alleged that Gallagher threatened fellow SEALs over the allegations, and posted their names in private Navy social media groups in order to out them as traitors and sabotage their chances at career advancement.

Later on the stand, Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Corey Scott said he was the one who killed the teenage fighter. When asked why Scott killed the ISIS fighter, he said, "Because I knew he would die anyway". Christopher Czaplak for secretly attempting to track the communications of the defense team and a journalist covering the trial.

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The jury is made up of five Marines and two sailors, including a SEAL, many of whom had been in combat in Iraq. He will be released on Tuesday.

Speaking of his accusers, Gallagher said, "this small group of SEALs that chose to concoct this story in no way, shape or form represent the community that I love".

President Donald 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.

Illustrating the degree of support for fascistic elements like Gallagher within the American political establishment, on May 8 Republican Representative Duncan Hunter from California advocated for a presidential pardon of Gallagher if he were convicted.

Trump said in May he was considering pardons for a number of USA military personnel accused of war crimes, and Gallagher's case was widely believed to be one of those under review.

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