Eddie Gallagher busted down one rank after being found guilty of posing for photo with ISIS fighter's body

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Paul Szoldra/Task & Purpose

A military jury sentenced Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher to a reduction in rank to E-6, along with four months confinement and forfeiture of pay on Wednesday.


Gallagher, 40, was found not guilty of premeditated murder over an alleged stabbing of a wounded ISIS fighter in Mosul in 2017. He was also acquitted of charges related to obstruction of justice and attempted premeditated murder over alleged unlawful sniper shots taken at an old man and a young girl.

The jury found him guilty on only one charge on Tuesday: unlawfully posing for a picture with a human casualty. Prosecutors showed two photos of Gallagher posing with a body throughout his trial. Other SEALs, including some witnesses who testified against him, were also in the photos.

One photo frequently shown during the trial showed Gallagher, wearing a ball cap, kneeling next to the deceased ISIS fighter while holding his knife as three other SEALs are seen standing behind him. Another showed Gallagher similarly posing with nearly a dozen other members of SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon posing for the shot.

Gallagher served about eight months in confinement prior to going to trial, so his four-month sentence will be chalked up to time served. Two months of the pay forfeiture were suspended due to pretrial restrictions, according to Andrew Dyer of San Diego Union-Tribune.

His defense attorney Tim Parlatore told Task & Purpose on Wednesday that Gallagher is about two weeks away from being eligible for retirement, and will likely separate from the Navy; now, it will be as a Petty Officer 1st Class.

The sentence is not yet final.

It now goes to the convening authority, who can decide to accept or reject the sentence. Parlatore told Task & Purpose he plans to ask the convening authority for clemency and request that he drop the photo charge that Gallagher was convicted on.

President Donald Trump has also reportedly considered pardoning Gallagher.

Editor's Note: This article by Hope Hodge Seck originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

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