No Prison Sentence For Army Deserter Bowe Bergdahl
A military judge in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, ruled that U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will be dishonorably discharged, but not sentenced to jail.
Bergdahl pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy when he abandoned his Afghanistan outpost in 2009.
Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban for five years after deserting, but was released in May 2014 in a prisoner exchange for five Guantanamo Bay detainees who had been jailed for years without trials by the U.S. government.
Bergdahl’s rank will be reduced from sergeant to E1, and he will have to pay a $1,000 fine from his salary for the next 10 months, reports CNN.
Bergdahl faced the possibility of life in prison, but the prosecution asked for a 14-year sentence. Bergdahl’s attorneys asked for a dishonorable discharge because Bergdahl had a previously undiagnosed mental illness when he left his post.
“Hypothetically, he probably should not have been in the Army,” said Capt. Nina Banks, one of Bergdahl’s military defense attorneys.