US Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has acquired a dishonorable discharge however will keep away from jail time for desertion and misbehavior earlier than the enemy after abandoning his outpost in 2009, a army choose dominated Friday.
A army choose has decide in Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s sentencing listening to.
Journalists have been requested to return to the courtroom at Fort Bragg in North Carolina the place the trial and hearings have been held.
He initially confronted the potential for life in jail, however the prosecution requested the choose, Army Col. Jeffery R. Nance, for a 14-year sentence. Bergdahl’s attorneys requested Col. Nance for a punishment of dishonorable discharge.
Bergdahl beforehand selected to be tried by a army choose as a substitute of a jury.
Defense: Bergdahl ‘shouldn’t have been within the Army’
“Hypothetically, he probably should not have been in the Army,” stated Capt. Nina Banks, one among Bergdahl’s army protection attorneys, in her closing argument.
Bergdahl suffered from quite a few psychological diseases, together with schizotypal character dysfunction and post-traumatic stress dysfunction, in keeping with Dr. Charles Morgan, a forensic psychiatrist and professor on the University of New Haven and Yale University, who testified for the protection Wednesday.
Morgan stated Bergdahl was raised in a tense and generally scary family that contributed to social anxiousness and cognitive defects that he was affected by earlier than he enlisted within the Army.
The protection additionally argued that the data Bergdahl was in a position to present upon his return — and his willingness to share that info and cooperate with investigators — warranted a extra lenient sentence.
Prosecution: Bergdahl put troopers at risk
But authorities prosecutors stated Bergdahl was conscious of the dangers when he abandoned, and that doing so put his fellow troopers at risk.
Soldiers who looked for Bergdahl after he abandoned have been referred to as to testify by the prosecution and shared tales of the grueling circumstances they endured whereas on the lookout for him.
One of the witnesses, Capt. John Billings, was Bergdahl’s platoon chief in Afghanistan. Billings stated the platoon looked for the then-private top notch for 19 days, going with out meals or water.
Retired Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer James Hatch testified final Wednesday that he and his canine got here below hearth whereas on the lookout for Bergdahl. He was shot within the leg, and his Ok-9 accomplice, Remco, was shot within the face and killed.
“I thought I was dead,” stated Hatch, who now walks with a heavy limp after 18 surgical procedures. He stated he was involved as a result of there was little time to plan the seek for Bergdahl, and different troopers knew he had willfully walked away.
When requested why he would go looking for Bergdahl, Hatch stated, “He is an American.”
“He had a mom,” he added.
Bergdahl tearfully apologized this week to the service members who looked for him after he abandoned.
“My words can’t take away what people have been through,” he stated. “I am admitting I made a horrible mistake.”
Investigator stated jail time can be ‘inappropriate’
Bergdahl has stated he deserted his put up as a result of he needed to journey to a bigger base to report “a critical problem in my chain of command,” although he didn’t specify what the issue was.
He was charged with desertion and misbehavior earlier than the enemy in March 2015.