SAN DIEGO (AP) — When a special forces medic was called to testify in the case of a Navy SEAL accused of stabbing an Islamic State fighter in his care, prosecutors expected the medic to bolster their case.
Corey Scott delivered in part, saying Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher unexpectedly plunged a knife into the adolescent detainee in 2017 after treating his wounds in Iraq.
But the government was floored by what came next.
Scott took the blame for the killing, saying he suffocated the boy in an act of mercy shortly after Gallagher stabbed him.
It was a stunning twist in an already tumultuous case.
And it illustrated the challenges of prosecuting war crimes cases, especially those involving members of the secretive special forces.