Former Navy SEAL speaks for the first time since being acquitted

Former Navy SEAL speaks for the first time since being acquitted

AKRON, OH (WOIO) - Former Navy SEAL Chris Heben spoke out Friday, the first time since his acquittal this week on charges of falsification and obstruction of official business.

Heben did not attack the Bath Township Police who accused him of lying about the location of where he was shot in March 2013.

"So I applaud the efforts of the police department and I also applaud the jury. They made the correct decision and the right decision. I maintained my innocence since the whole time and it was the right decision," Heben said.

Heben is a military consultant for national television networks and has his own show on Animal Planet network.

He says three men shot him at the West Market Plaza in Bath Township after a brief confrontation.

Investigators did not believe him.

On Wednesday, a jury unanimously said he was innocent, but it has all come at a very high price.   

"It's been very damaging. I lost a substantial amount of money in the first 72 hours that I was called a liar and basically tried in the court of public opinion on the day that story broke," said Heben.

There was never a dispute that Chris Heben was shot, but police just didn't believe it happened in a parking lot in Bath Township. 

Prosecutors theorized that Heben shot himself and then twisted the story to gain more publicity.

The jury reached their decision in less than 45 minutes. 

"I would like to get off the X as I call it. Move on. Onward and upward as I always say and just stay positive. It's not the time for mudslinging or accusations what is done is done," said Heben.

Heben has thousands of fans on Twitter and Facebook and says it is his job to inspire them every day.

But he says his legion of fans during the trial inspired him.

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