Navy SEAL to plead not responsible to homicide cost of ISIS teen

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SAN DIEGO (AP) — A adorned Navy SEAL is dealing with prices of premediated homicide and quite a few different offenses in reference to the deadly stabbing of a teenage Islamic State prisoner beneath his care in Iraq in 2017, together with the capturing of unarmed Iraqi civilians.

Particular Operations Chief Edward Gallagher plans to plead not responsible to all the costs Friday throughout an arraignment listening to at Naval Base San Diego, his legal professional Phil Stackhouse mentioned.

The case stands out due to the seriousness of the allegations in opposition to an elite particular warfare operator and the truth that the prosecution’s case contains the accounts of fellow Navy SEALs, a particularly tight-knit group even by navy requirements.

Stackhouse mentioned his consumer is being falsely accused by disgruntled SEALs who needed to do away with a demanding platoon chief.

Gallagher was awarded the Bronze Star twice.

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Navy prosecutors have painted an image of a extremely skilled fighter and medic going off the rails on his eighth deployment — indiscriminately capturing at Iraqi civilians — and stabbing to loss of life a captured Islamic State fighter estimated to be 15 years previous, after which posing with the corpse at his re-enlistment ceremony.

If convicted, the 19-year Navy veteran faces life in jail.

At a two-day preliminary listening to on the Navy base in November, investigators mentioned Gallagher stabbed the teenager within the neck and physique with a knife after he was handed over to the SEALs within the Iraqi metropolis of Mosul to be handled for wounds sustained by the Iraqi Military and its prisoners throughout an airstrike in Could 2017.

Naval Prison Investigative Service Particular Agent Joe Warpinski advised the court docket {that a} SEAL medic advised him he believed he had simply stabilized the teenager when Gallagher “walked up with out saying something in any respect” and began stabbing him. Afterward, prosecutors say he took images of himself with the corpse, holding up his knife in a single hand and the teenager’s head within the different. He additionally posed with the physique throughout his re-enlistment ceremony captured within the footage, Warpinski mentioned.

Warpinski mentioned when one other SEAL questioned Gallagher, the chief replied that “I used to be engaged on him, and he simply died.” His protection legal professional additionally indicated to the court docket the teenager died from accidents from the airstrike.

Warpinski, who spoke to 9 members of SEAL Workforce 7, mentioned he was advised Gallagher would fireplace into crowds of Iraqis. He’s accused of capturing an aged man carting a water jug in Mosul in June 2017, and a month later capturing a woman strolling alongside a riverbank in the identical space. Investigators advised the court docket that he had threatened to publicly title fellow SEALs in the event that they reported his actions.

Based on Warpinski, some SEALs had been so involved about his actions that they didn’t inform him his sniper rifle settings had been off so his capturing can be much less correct and they’d fireplace warning pictures to clear areas of civilians.

There was hypothesis that the case might widen to implicate others for not reporting what they witnessed. Prosecutors have already accused Gallagher’s platoon commander, Navy Lt. Jacob Portier, of not appearing on the allegations. His legal professional Jeremiah Sullivan mentioned Portier was the primary to report them to superiors and did in order quickly as he realized of them. His arraignment listening to has not been scheduled but.

However Navy spokesman Brian O’rourke mentioned the case for now could be focusing solely on Gallagher and Portier. “There’s zero curiosity in taking motion in opposition to any witnesses at the moment,” O’rourke mentioned.

Gallagher’s legal professional Stackhouse mentioned his consumer appears to be like ahead to the trial to clear his title. “He’s by no means run from a struggle, and he’s not going to run from this one,” he mentioned.

Stackhouse plans to ask the choose Friday to permit Gallagher to be launched from the brig, the place he has been held since his arrest Sept. 11.

The Navy SEALs Fund has raised greater than $200,000 by means of a web based fundraiser for his protection. Based on the inspiration’s posting on-line: “Eddie’s report and status as an elite warrior is rivaled solely by a couple of males who’ve served by his aspect as particular warfare operators and heroes who’ve gone earlier than him.”

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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