The five years that Bowe Bergdahl spent chained up and beaten by the Taliban after he walked off his post in Afghanistan in 2009 likely led to the judge’s decision to spare him further confinement, military law experts said.
You can read the story here: http://www.fayobserver.com/news/20171106/experts-time-in-captivity-likely-led-to-judges-sentence
Bowe Bergdahl, the soldier who triggered extensive search missions after he walked off his post in Afghanistan in 2009 and was captured by the Taliban, will serve no time in prison.
Col. Jeffery Nance, the military judge overseeing Bergdahl’s court-martial at Fort Bragg, announced the soldier’s sentence Friday morning.
Bergdahl stood between his lawyers, shaking, as his sentence was read in court.
Nance announced Bergdahl should receive a dishonorable discharge, be reduced in rank from E5 to E1 and forfeit pay of $1,000 a month for 10 months. He did not offer an explanation for his decision, but considered evidence from service members who were injured searching for Bergdahl, as well as the torture the soldier endured while held captive and harsh criticism of then-candidate Donald Trump.
The sentence must be approved by the convening authority, who is Gen. Robert Abrams, the commanding general of U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg. He has 120 days to review the sentence.
Read the story here: http://www.fayobserver.com/news/20171103/bergdahl-gets-no-prison-time-dishonorable-discharge
A judge is deliberating the sentence for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy after walking off his post in Afghanistan in 2009.
Col. Jeffery Nance, the military judge overseeing the court-martial, began deliberations just before noon Thursday. Court was recessed just before 5 p.m. without a decision.
Prosecutors asked that Bergdahl receive 14 years of confinement, demotion to the rank of E1 private and a punitive discharged. Prosecutors said the torture and beatings that Bergdahl endured as a prisoner of the Taliban for five years should be considered as the judge decides the sentence.
Defense lawyers asked the judge to consider a dishonorable discharge with no confinement.
Bergdahl pleaded guilty Oct. 16 without a plea agreement.
Earlier this week, Bergdahl gave unsworn testimony in which he apologized to the service members who searched for him. He said walking off post was a “horrible mistake.”
Bergdahl’s disappearance triggered extensive, hastily planned search missions, including two where service members were injured.
Read the story here: http://www.fayobserver.com/news/20171102/judge-deliberating-sentence-for-army-sgt-bowe-bergdahl
Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s mental disorders likely contributed to his decision to walk off his post in Afghanistan in 2009, a psychiatrist testified for his defense Wednesday morning.
Charles Morgan III, a forensic psychiatrist who spent about 20 hours evaluating Bergdahl, said the soldier suffers from schizotypal personality disorder, post traumatic stress disorder and social phobia.
“I do believe they play a role,” Morgan said of Bergdahl’s decision to desert his post, leading to his capture by the Taliban.
Bergdahl, 31, pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy and could be sentenced to life in prison.
Read the story here: http://www.fayobserver.com/news/20171101/psychiatrist-describes-bergdahls-mental-disorders
Two officials who debriefed Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl after he was rescued from five years of captivity in Afghanistan said his personal experiences as a Taliban prisoner are critical to understanding insurgents as well as training troops on survival and evasion techniques.
Bergdahl, 31, who has already pleaded guilty to charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, gave unsworn testimony on Monday to apologize to everyone involved in searching for him. He spoke for about two hours, describing the torture and constant beatings he endured in captivity.
The testimony follows the prosecutor’s case that included powerful statements from soldiers who were injured on missions searching for Bergdahl.
The military judge, Col. Jeffery Nance, will consider the testimony as he determines if Bergdahl should spend the rest of his life in prison.
Amber Dach, a lead intelligence analyst, debriefed Bergdahl for about 70 hours when he arrived at Landstuhl, Germany, in June 2014. She said Bergdahl was eager to help.
“It was a gold mine,” she said. “It really reshaped the way we do intelligence collection in the area.”
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Soldiers and an Air Force intelligence officer recalled a chaotic July 2009 firefight where one soldier was shot in the head and another had his hand shattered after searching a village in Afghanistan for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
Their testimony came during the sentencing hearing for Bergdahl, whose disappearance from his remote outpost in Afghanistan in 2009 triggered intense search and rescue operations. Bergdahl pleaded guilty last week to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy and could serve life in prison.
A military judge, Col. Jeffery Nance, will decide Bergdahl’s punishment. The sentencing hearing began this week on Fort Bragg.
All of the witnesses who testified Thursday described how they rapidly executed missions hoping to find Bergdahl. Two American soldiers suffered head and hand injuries on the mission on July 8, 2009.
Lawyers for Bergdahl have said the injuries that soldiers involved in the search received were caused by enemy insurgents.
A small group of Americans, working with Afghan partners, came under heavy enemy fire after they left a village to question elders on the whereabouts of Bergdahl. The unit, which had walked more than 10 kilometers the night before, was exhausted and nearly out of water.
Jonathan Morita, an infantryman recalled to deploy to Afghanistan after serving three years in the Army, was holding his M4 rifle when he was struck in the right hand by a dud rocket-propelled grenade. The strike was so powerful it broke the rifle into four pieces and split open several of his fingers. His thumb was dangling, he said.
Read the story here: http://www.fayobserver.com/news/20171026/soldiers-describe-search-mission-that-left-comrades-injured
Retired Senior Chief Petty Officer James Hatch, a former Navy SEAL, on Wednesday described the blasts from an AK-47 popping around him during a rescue mission for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
“I could hear shrapnel breaking over my head,” said Hatch, who was shot during the mission near the border of Pakistan. “I really thought I was dead.”
Hatch was the first of several witnesses to testify about intense, risky search missions that were conducted to find Bergdahl after he walked away from his remote outpost in 2009. A judge will decide whether Bergdahl spends the rest of his life in prison for desertion and endangering his comrades.
He pleaded guilty to those charges last week, and the sentencing hearing began Monday.
Read the story here: http://www.fayobserver.com/news/20171025/judge-hears-about-rescue-missions
The military judge who will decide if Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will spend the rest of his life in prison told lawyers Monday that he will not be influenced by comments made by President Donald Trump.
Col. Jeffery Nance, who is overseeing Bergdahl’s court-martial, said he wasn’t aware of the president’s most recent comments related to the soldier until defense lawyers leveraged them to renew a request to dismiss the case. The court-martial moved into the sentencing phase last week after Bergdahl pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.
“I don’t have any doubt that I can be fair and impartial,” Nance said during a pretrial hearing Monday morning on Fort Bragg.
Read the story here: http://www.fayobserver.com/news/20171023/bergdahl-hearing-defense-says-presidents-comments-prevent-fair-trial
The sentencing hearing for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who has already admitted his guilt on charges that he deserted and endangered his platoon mates in Afghanistan in 2009, continues at Fort Bragg this week.
The judge could order Bergdahl to life imprisonment.
Bergdahl pleaded guilty last week, two years after the court was presented thousands of classified documents and heard testimony from a four-star general of Forces Command and service members who were injured on missions to find Bergdahl. The defense tried numerous times to get the charges against Bergdahl dismissed based on what they called biased comments made by U.S. Sen. John McCain and President Donald Trump.
Last week, Trump breathed new life into the case when he commented on Bergdahl at a news conference at the White House, allowing defense lawyers to renew an old motion to dismiss based on Trump’s bias.
Read the story here: http://www.fayobserver.com/news/20171022/bergdahl-could-face-life-in-prison-as-sentencing-hearing-continues
The lead lawyer for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl said Friday that he would not confirm reports that Bergdahl, who was held captive by the Taliban for five years, would plead guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.
“We have no comment,” said Eugene Fidell, a civilian lawyer representing Bergdahl in his court-martial at Fort Bragg.
The Associated Press, citing two individuals with knowledge of the case, reported that Bergdahl, 31, of Idaho, had decided to plead guilty rather than face trial.
Bergdahl’s court-martial is slated to begin later this month. A conviction could carry a life sentence for the soldier, who walked off his remote post in Afghanistan in 2009 and was subsequently captured and held by the Taliban for half a decade.
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