Army Sgt. Bergdahl pleads guilty to desertion, misbehavior – KWWL – Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings
(Andrew Craft/The Fayetteville Observer through AP, File). FILE- In this Sept. 27, 2017, file photo, Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl leaves a movements hearing throughout a lunch break in Fort Bragg, N.C. Bergdahl is expected to plead guilty on Monday, Oct. 16, to charg …
Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is expected to plead guilty Monday to charges that he endangered associates by leaving a remote post in Afghanistan in 2009.
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More > > By JONATHAN DREW
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) – Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, a Taliban slave for five years after abandoning his post in Afghanistan, pleaded guilty Monday to desertion and misbehavior-before-the-enemy charges that could put him in jail for life.
“I understand that leaving was against the law,” stated Bergdahl, whose choice to stroll off his remote post in Afghanistan in 2009 triggered intense search and healing missions, during which a few of his comrades were seriously wounded.Bergdahl, 31, is implicated of threatening his pals by deserting his post without permission. He told a general after his release from 5 years in enemy hands that he did it with the intent of reaching other leaders and accentuating exactly what he saw as issues with his unit.The prosecution made no agreement to limit Bergdahl’s penalty in return for the soldier’s guilty pleas. The judge, Army Col. Judge Jeffery R. Nance, reminded Bergdahl that he might spend the rest of his life in jail, and asked him one last time if he desired to plead guilty.” Yes,” Bergdahl replied, and the judge accepted the pleas.Bergdahl might be wishing for leniency. Wrongdoing brings an optimum charge of life in prison, while desertion is punishable by as much as
five years.”At the time, I had no intention of causing search and recovery operations,” Bergdahl said, but he included that now he does understand that his choice prompted efforts to discover him.The guilty pleas bring the highly politicized saga closer to an end eight years after Bergdahl vanished in Afghanistan. President Barack Obama, who approved the Taliban prisoner swap that brought
Bergdahl home in 2014, stated the United States does not leave its service members on the battleground, however he was roundly criticized by Republicans.Campaigning for president, Donald Trump consistently called Bergdahl a” filthy, rotten traitor” and recommended he was worthy of to be executed by firing team or thrown away of an aircraft without a parachute. The defense said Trump unfairly swayed the case with this scathing criticism. The judge decided that Trump’s comments, though” troubling and frustrating, “did not make up unlawful command influence by the future leader in chief.Berghdahl’s sentencing hearing is arranged to begin Oct. 23. His years as a slave of the Taliban and its allies might be factored into his penalty, but the hearing also will likely include damning testimony from his fellow service members. The judge has ruled that a Navy SEAL who suffered a career-ending leg wound and an Army National Guard sergeant whose head injury put him in a wheel chair would not have been harmed in firefights had they not been looking for Bergdahl.Bergdahl, who’s from Hailey, Idaho, has been designated to desk duty at a Texas Army base while his case unfolds.Follow Drew at www.twitter.com/jonldrew!.?.!Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This product may not be published, broadcast, reworded or redistributed.