In Navy SEAL trial, expert couldn't conclude victim was stabbed

Defense questions NCIS methods

By Dan Simon and Jack Hannah, CNN
KSWB via CNN

SAN DIEGO - Jurors in the murder trial of Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher heard from NCIS investigators and forensics and pathology experts on Monday.

Gallagher is accused of multiple violations of military law, including murdering a prisoner, posing for a photo next to a corpse, shooting at non-combatants and intimidating SEALs who could report his behavior. In the first four days of trial last week, witnesses testified they had seen Gallagher plunge a knife into the neck of a young ISIS prisoner and fire at non-combatants.

But in a stunning turn of events, one witness testified he had killed the prisoner.

On the fifth day of the trial, forensic expert Dr. Frank Sheridan told prosecutors the alleged stabbing witnesses described "could result in massive hemorrhaging into the chest ... or death." Sheridan drew his conclusion while looking at photo and video evidence.

Navy SEAL Special Operations Chief Craig Miller testified Wednesday he saw Gallagher stab the wounded fighter "on the right side of his neck, toward the jugular vein." Another witness said he saw Gallagher stab the prisoner under the collarbone but didn't see any blood.

During cross examination, Sheridan said he could not determine -- based on the information he was given -- what the ISIS prisoner's cause of death was. He also said he couldn't conclude there was a stabbing, as he wasn't shown any physical evidence.

Prosecutors also showed the hunting knife that Gallagher allegedly used to stabbed the detainee.

 

Defense questions NCIS methods

 

Things got heated during the trial when defense attorney Tim Parlatore questioned NCIS investigators.

Parlatore referred to the agents' methods while carrying out a raid at Gallagher's home, claiming the SEAL's children, 8 years old and 18 years old at the time, "were dragged out of their house in their underwear" by armed investigators.

NCIS Special Agent Brian Frank testified it is "standard protocol" to attempt to get everyone out of the house during a raid.

Gallagher's trial will resume Tuesday morning, when defense attorneys will have the chance to cross examine NCIS special agent Joseph Wapriski.

CNN's Dakin Andone contributed to this report.

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