Navy SEAL testifies that Eddie Gallagher thought he was firing at an ISIS combatant

Posted at 11:12 PM, Jun 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-27 01:12:09-04

An active duty Navy SEAL deployed in Mosul, Iraq, with Eddie Gallagher testified Wednesday that when Gallagher fired his sniper rifle at a man, he did so because they believed him to be an ISIS combatant, not a citizen as other witnesses have testified.

Joshua Graffam, testifying under immunity at Gallagher’s military trial, told the court he was acting as a spotter for Gallagher, using binoculars and range finders to help his partner monitor targets on the day of the incident.

Graffam said he saw two men he thought were ISIS, and told Gallagher, who agreed.

Gallagher fired and appeared to hit one of the men in the upper torso, Graffam said on the first day the defense presented its case.

Graffam testified he doesn’t know what happened to the man, but said the man was dressed in all black and he thought the man was between 40 and 50 years old, not elderly as other witnesses have testified.

Previous witnesses had testified they believed Gallagher intentionally fired on Iraqi civilians.

In testimony last week, Dalton Tolbert said he fired a warning shot at an old man during a sniper mission with Gallagher. As the old man ran away another sniper fired and the man fell.

He heard a voice that sounded like Gallagher’s say via the radio, “You guys missed, but I got him,” Tolbert said

“Did Gallagher ever take any shots that he shouldn’t have?” an attorney for Gallagher’s defense team asked Graffam Wednesday.

“No,” Graffam said.

Asked if he would deploy with Gallagher again, Graffam said he would.

Tim Parlatore, an attorney for Gallagher, called it “another good day.”

“(We) started to hear from some of the witnesses that you probably would have expected the government would have put on … if they had done a complete case,” he said.

Gallagher, a special operations chief, is accused of murdering a prisoner, posing for a photo next to a corpse, shooting at noncombatants and intimidating SEALs who could report his behavior.

Gallagher has pleaded not guilty. If convicted of murder, he faces life in prison.

Prosecutors rested their case on Tuesday after calling 14 witnesses in six days.