SAN DIEGO—A Navy SEAL pleaded not guilty on Jan. 4 to charges of premeditated murder and other crimes in the stabbing death of a teenage ISIS prisoner in Iraq last year and the shooting of unarmed Iraqi civilians.
Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher will stand trial between Feb. 19 and March 1 before a jury that will be one-third enlisted personnel. Gallagher has been jailed since his arrest on Sept. 11, and a judge said he will determine next week whether the 19-year Navy veteran should be released before the trial.
His attorney, Phil Stackhouse, said his client is being falsely accused by disgruntled SEALs who wanted to get rid of a demanding platoon leader. Gallagher was awarded the Bronze Star twice.
If convicted, the 19-year Navy veteran faces life in prison.
Stackhouse, Gallagher’s attorney, said his client looks forward to clearing his name at trial.
“He’s never run from a fight, and he’s not going to run from this one,” Stackhouse said.
The Navy SEALs Fund has raised more than $200,000 through an online fundraiser for his defense.
“Eddie’s record and reputation as an elite warrior is rivaled only by a few men who have served by his side as special warfare operators and heroes who have gone before him,” according to the foundation’s posting online.
By Julie Watson