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Navy SEAL found not guilty in death of Islamic State fighter

By Daniel Uria

July 2 (UPI) -- Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher was found not guilty Tuesday in the death of an Islamic State prisoner in Iraq.

Gallagher was found not guilty on six of the seven charges he faced related to accusations that he killed a 15-year-old militant while he was being treated for injuries in 2017, then posed for a photo with his dead body and pressured other SEALs not to report him.

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The jury found Gallagher not guilty of premeditated murder, willfully discharging a firearm to endanger human life, retaliation against members of his platoon for reporting his alleged actions and attempted murder of two noncombatants in other incidents the same year.

He was found guilty for posing for a photo with a human casualty -- a violation of the Army's code of conduct -- and faces a maximum sentence of four months in prison, although he has already served six months.

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Gallagher's defense never disputed that he took the photo, but stated it was not proof that he committed murder or obstructed justice.

Tuesday's verdict comes after Navy SEAL medic Corey Scott told the military jury that he suffocated the teenager after Gallagher, who was his platoon leader, stabbed the boy and walked away.

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"I knew he was going to die anyway and I wanted to save him from waking up to whatever would happen to him," Scott said in his testimony.

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Navy prosecutors said Scott changed his story after being granted immunity in order to protect Gallagher and he may face a perjury charge.

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