Bergdahl guilty pleas leave room for drama at sentencing

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FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) - The guilty plea of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl to charges of endangering his comrades in Afghanistan has set up a dramatic sentencing hearing this month that could land him in prison for life.

Bergdahl, who was captured and held by the Taliban for five years after leaving his remote post in Afghanistan in 2009, pleaded guilty Monday to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, a rare charge that carries a potential life sentence. He made no deal with prosecutors, so his punishment will be decided by the judge.

Bergdahl, who's from Hailey, Idaho, was thoroughly questioned at his plea hearing, and called his actions "very inexcusable."

Now the judge will weigh Bergdahl's admission of guilt and his time in captivity against the wounds other service members suffered while searching for him.



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A military prosecutor says he has made no agreement to limit punishment for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in return for the soldier's guilty pleas to charges that he endangered comrades by walking off his post in Afghanistan in 2009.

After Bergdahl entered guilty pleas to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, the prosecutor, Maj. Justin Oshana, told the judge that there's no pretrial agreement between the two sides.

The judge, Army Col. Judge Jeffery R. Nance, spent Monday morning asking Bergdahl questions to make sure he understands what he's pleading guilty to, and that his offenses carry a maximum punishment of life in prison. The judge asked him one last time if he wanted to plead guilty, and Bergdahl replied, "yes."

Nance then told him that he accepted his pleas.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl told a military judge he's pleading guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

His lawyer says the prosecution and defense have not agreed to a stipulation of facts in the case, which is an indication that they did not reach a deal to limit his punishment.

Bergdahl is charged with endangering his comrades by walking away from a remote post in Afghanistan in 2009.

He told the judge that he now understands that what he did caused others to search for him.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)