Navy SEAL Arrested On Murder Charge To Be Arraigned Friday

A highly-decorated Navy SEAL chief who allegedly murdered a member of ISIS will be arraigned Friday morning and face several court-martial charges.

Special Operations chief Edward "Eddie" Gallagher faces charges of war crimes, including premeditated murder of a 15-year-old ISIS fighter, around May 3, 2017 in Iraq. Gallagher reportedly texted a photo of himself holding the Islamic State militant's head in one hand and a knife in the other.

Gallagher was arrested on Sept. 11, 2018 at the Camp Pendleton Intrepid Center in San Diego, and he has been held in the Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar the last 17 weeks. The initial report indicates SEAL team medics were treating the ISIS fighter for wounds when Gallagher allegedly stabbed the prisoner several times.

The ISIS fighter died from combat wounds, according to this report by American Military News.

Navy SEALs were administering medical aid to a wounded 15-year-old ISIS fighter when one SEAL allegedly stabbed the prisoner to death and then posed for photos next to the body.

The rules of engagement matter. Full stop.

— Jared Keller (@jaredbkeller) November 15, 2018

Phillip Stackhouse, a civilian attorney who's representing Gallagher, insists his client committed no crime.

"What we've learned in our independent investigation into these allegations is that a crime simply didn't happen," Stackhouse told Task & Purpose last October. "There are members of his unit that are making the allegation that he pulled out a knife and stabbed him in the neck and body."

Though the Naval Special Warfare's communications didn't give responses to media back in October, Cmdr. Tamara Lawrence, a spokeswoman, sent an email to the Navy Timesand other outlets.

"A service member currently assigned to a Naval Special Warfare unit is under investigation by NCIS for professional misconduct while deployed to Iraq in 2017," Cmdr. Lawrence wrote. "We take all allegations of misconduct seriously and will cooperate fully with investigative authorities.

"All members of Naval Special Warfare are required to comply with the Laws of Armed Conflict and U.S. law and regulations in the conduct of military operations."

Gallagher enlisted into the Navy in 1999, and served as a medical corpsman from 2000-04. His biography says he joined the special warfare unit in 2005 and has racked up a chest full of medals, including two Bronze Stars with "V" for valor and three Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medals, including one with a combat "V."

Other medals and honors include the Army Commendation Medal, Two Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medals, a Combat Action Ribbon, a Presidential Unit Citation, Meritorious Unit Commendation, the Good Conduct Medal, National Defense and Sea Service Ribbons.

Gallagher's wife of 11 years, Andrea, said her family "suffered in silence" while pending allegations against the chief quietly surfaced against him. Gallagher was reportedly receiving care for wounds from his Iraq tour when he was first detained in June, and then later arrested in September.

"My husband was receiving holistic care and treatment from a program we waited a year to get into and was ripped out without warning — shackled like a common criminal and held in solitary confinement for 72 hours," Andrea told the Navy Times said. "He has now been in jail for nearly six weeks for pretrial confinement.

"These allegations are malicious and shameless, and I know that my husband did not do what is alleged, and I will stand by him and I know he will be exonerated of these charges. His family, friends, SEALs and former Marines and his scout sniper colleagues all stand beside Eddie. Eddie is a hero, and we are patiently awaiting the restoration of his good name and reputation."

Meanwhile, the Navy claims to have both photo and video evidence of the alleged murder of the ISIS killing, and the Navy says it has witnesses who could testify, including members of Gallagher's SEAL unit.