SEVERE WX : Flash Flood Watch View Alerts

Navy SEAL pleads not guilty to charge of murder while in Iraq

A Navy SEAL pleaded not guilty Friday to a charge of premeditated murder in the stabbing death of an injured...

Posted: Jan 6, 2019 12:12 PM
Updated: Jan 6, 2019 12:12 PM

A Navy SEAL pleaded not guilty Friday to a charge of premeditated murder in the stabbing death of an injured person in Iraq. Lawyers in the courtroom say the male victim was an ISIS fighter.

Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher faces a slew of accusations connected to violations of military law while he was deployed to the Iraqi city of Mosul in 2017.

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Crimes against persons

Criminal law

Criminal offenses

Government organizations - US

Homicide

Law and legal system

Military

Murder

Navy SEALs

Shootings

Special operations forces

US Department of Defense

US federal departments and agencies

US Navy

US Special Operations Command

Armed forces

California

Continents and regions

North America

San Diego

Southwestern United States

The Americas

United States

Iraq

Middle East

Middle East and North Africa

Mosul

Stabbings

Court trials

Trial and procedure

Edward Gallagher

Misc people

ISIS

Misc organizations

Among the accusations against Gallagher are that he stabbed and killed a wounded person, shot at noncombatants, posed for a photo and performed his re-enlistment ceremony next to a corpse, according to a charge sheet from November.

Witnesses told investigators that the stabbing victim appeared to be about 15.

Part of Friday's hearing was concerned with whether he would be let out of the Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar in San Diego before the start of his two-week trial, scheduled to begin on February 19.

Two Navy SEALs testified on Gallagher's behalf, praising his character and telling the court that he would not be a flight risk if he was allowed out of the brig before his trial begins.

"I'd like to have him on the battleground on any given day," one of the SEALs said.

Cmdr. Tamara Lawrence, public affairs officer with the Naval Special Warfare Command, previously said the Navy was taking the allegations seriously.

"We train and operate in dynamic, complex and ambiguous environments and our operators are empowered and trusted to independently make difficult decisions during missions," Lawrence said in a statement.

"They have consistently proven that their empowerment and trust is warranted. Allegations that indicate otherwise are, and will continue to be, investigated by the appropriate military and law enforcement authorities."

When asked by CNN if Gallagher had stabbed the ISIS fighter, defense attorney Colby Vokey told reporters after the hearing that Gallagher didn't murder anyone, while also saying Gallagher and other special operators are asked to do unimaginable things on the battlefield.

"The question is, it is lawful?" he said.

Gallagher being 'demonized,' supporter says

The charge sheet said that Gallagher "did ... with premeditation, murder a wounded male person" under his care by "stabbing him in the neck and body with a knife" while battling ISIS in Mosul in May 2017.

He is charged with shooting at a male and female noncombatant near Mosul in June and July of 2017, and is also charged with wrongfully retaliating against and "attempting to discourage members of his platoon from reporting his actions while in Iraq" when he and his unit were back in San Diego.

Additionally the Navy has charged Gallagher with "wrongfully" posing for an unofficial picture "with a human casualty" and wrongfully completing his re-enlistment ceremony next to a human casualty.

Walking into court at the Naval Base San Diego on Friday, Gallagher's wife, Andrea, told CNN, "This is a travesty of justice and it needs to be righted."

Edward Gallagher was dressed in his uniform and was not handcuffed.

A group of Gallagher's supporters gathered outside the courthouse of the San Diego Naval Base on Friday. Many of them wore shirts that read, "Free Eddie," with an American flag on the sleeve.

"We want to drive home our belief in Eddie's overall innocence and the fact that he's being persecuted as a good man," said Aaron Kahn, who told CNN he's a friend of Gallagher's and visits him every Sunday at a military prison.

"Eddie's being demonized and not characterized as a good human being," Kahn said, "and his 19½ years of service has been ... dismissed and not appreciated by the American public and government."

If convicted of murder Gallagher would face life in prison.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2533155

Reported Deaths: 56222
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings33439110849
Queens31559610296
Suffolk2404693613
Nassau2149303300
Bronx2078026754
New York1685484637
Westchester1438522343
Erie1071301956
Richmond890341936
Monroe849411189
Orange57778920
Rockland53278779
Onondaga52461765
Dutchess35776500
Albany31074390
Oneida28870590
Broome24729409
Niagara24203398
Saratoga20485204
Ulster17349280
Schenectady16899229
Rensselaer14947170
Putnam1254198
Chautauqua12526175
Oswego11817115
Chemung11046157
St. Lawrence10701128
Steuben10273173
Ontario9436110
Jefferson900378
Cayuga8722107
Sullivan852683
Wayne827885
Cattaraugus7830118
Genesee7098132
Herkimer6875128
Clinton680740
Tompkins657459
Fulton6432104
Madison6266102
Montgomery6036142
Livingston580071
Warren557184
Cortland540180
Tioga518672
Columbia5043111
Chenango473388
Washington468467
Allegany468298
Otsego461755
Wyoming442858
Greene442087
Orleans440189
Franklin435222
Lewis364938
Delaware359148
Seneca276163
Essex236231
Schoharie232822
Yates167328
Schuyler155417
Hamilton4393
Unassigned15130
Out of NY0319
Utica
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 61°
Oneonta
Partly Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 69°
Herkimer
Mostly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 61°
Old Forge
Mostly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 61°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Game Day Deals - New Deals Each Week
Chapter Aesthetic October Giveaway
Cool To Be Kind 2021
Looking for work or looking to hire? Check out the WKTV Job Fair!
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve