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Dozens attend fundraiser for Navy SEAL accused of war crimes

Posted at 10:19 AM, Apr 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-27 13:19:22-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Dozens of people attended a fundraiser for Chief Eddie Gallagher, the Navy Seal accused of war crimes in the Middle East.

It's a sold-out gathering for a man, who couldn't make it. Gallagher's wife, Andrea, flew in from Florida Thursday, to attend the event on his behalf, as he awaits trial.

"We want to honor him and his family and thank him for his service,” Char Ekoniak said.

Ekoniak co-hosted the #Free Eddie fundraiser at Twisted Taps in University Heights Friday evening, to honor Gallagher.

Gallagher is accused of shooting civilians and stabbing a teenage ISIS P-O-W to death.

"My husband is a warrior and a patriot,” wife Andrea Gallagher said. “The allegations that are against him are absolutely shameless.”

She claims at trial, there will be video evidence showing the exact opposite of what the prosecution is alleging happened.

“It's my husband, working and medically treating him, because he's a Corpsman, on this individual,” Andrea Gallagher said.

Since his arrest last fall, Gallagher's detainment has been a legal point of contention.

According to the Navy, after being let out of the brig on March 30th, Gallagher remains in a restricted, hotel-style dorm room.

On April 18th, a judge eased restrictions on Gallagher. He is now allowed to use a non-internet laptop to work on his defense. He also has access a flip-phone with pre-programmed numbers, where he can reach his family and civilian lawyers.

"A Navy Seal is not the person who can afford a half million or upwards in legal fees,” Andrea said.

She says that is why events like this fundraiser are crucial. Proceeds from auction items like a one-of-a-kind tomahawk knife, with handles made from Gallagher's uniform, will offset mounting legal fees. It is a price she is willing to pay, as she prays for the day her husband comes home a free man.

"We actually feel amazing at this point, that this long-term, horrific nightmare will be coming to what we feel is the vindication that he's always deserved,” Andrea said.

Gallagher has another motions hearing next Tuesday. His trial begins May 28.