Tags: bowe bergdahl | avoids | prison | desertion

Bowe Bergdahl Avoids Prison for Leaving Post

Bowe Bergdahl Avoids Prison for Leaving Post

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl leaves the Fort Bragg courtroom facility as the judge deliberates during a sentencing hearing at Fort Bragg, N.C., Friday, Nov. 3, 2017. (Gerry Broome/AP Photo)

Friday, 03 November 2017 12:20 PM

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl should serve no prison time for endangering his comrades by walking off his Afghanistan post, a military judge ruled.

The judge also gave Bergdahl a dishonorable discharge, reduced his rank to private and said he must forfeit pay equal to $1,000 per month for 10 months. The judge made no other comments.

Bergdahl appeared tense, grimaced and clenched his jaw. His attorneys put their arms around him and one patted him on the back.

Bergdahl pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy and had faced up to life in prison. The judge had wide leeway because Bergdahl made no deal with prosecutors to limit his sentence.

Prosecutors had sought stiff punishment because of wounds to service members who searched for Bergdahl after he disappeared in 2009. He was held captive by Taliban allies for five years.

The defense sought to counter that evidence with testimony about Bergdahl's suffering during five years as a captive of Taliban allies, his contributions to military intelligence and survival instruction and his mental health problems.

Col. Jeffery Nance called Bergdahl and lawyers for both sides into court briefly Friday to let them know that he was returning to his chamber to continue deliberations. The judge began deliberating Thursday after hearing closing arguments by defense attorneys, who asked for no prison time, and prosecutors who sought 14 years behind bars.

Bergdahl was held for five years by Taliban allies after walking off his post in Afghanistan.

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Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl should serve no prison time for endangering his comrades by walking off his Afghanistan post, a military judge ruled.
bowe bergdahl, avoids, prison, desertion
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2017-20-03
Friday, 03 November 2017 12:20 PM
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