A military jury in San Diego has acquitted Navy SEAL Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher of all but one count of war crimes in a case that revolved around the killing of a 17-year-old ISIS prisoner who had been wounded and died in U.S. custody.
The jury convicted Gallagher of posing with the body of the dead prisoner.
The jury began deliberating on Monday, nearly two weeks after another SEAL, Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Corey Scott, shocked the courtroom by claiming that he, not Gallagher, killed the captive.
Scott had been granted immunity from criminal charges as a lead prosecution witness in the case against Gallagher, who was accused of stabbing the ISIS prisoner in the neck with a knife. In court, Scott said that he blocked a tube that was helping the wounded prisoner breathe and that he killed the youth as an act of mercy.
Prosecutors said Scott’s narrative in court was wildly different from what he said in interviews, and they accused him of trying to protect his former superior from a long prison term. But Gallagher’s defense attorney said that the junior members of his SEAL team resented him and plotted against him, as KPBS reporter Steve Walsh told NPR on Monday.