Army schedules hearing on Bowe Bergdahl plea
RALEIGH, N.C. — Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will appear in court next week to enter an expected guilty plea to charges that he endangered comrades by walking off his remote post in Afghanistan in 2009.
The Army announced that Bergdahl will enter a plea Monday at Fort Bragg. The news release didn’t elaborate, but two individuals with knowledge of the case told The Associated Press that Bergdahl is expected to plead guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.
Prosecutors aren’t saying whether they have agreed to limit Bergdahl’s punishment. The misbehavior charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, while the desertion charge is punishable by up to five years.
A lawyer for Bergdahl didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment Thursday.
His trial had been scheduled to begin Oct. 23, but those dates are expected to be used for sentencing now. While guilty pleas allow Bergdahl to avoid trial, his sentencing is still likely to include dramatic testimony about service members injured searching for him.
His five years of imprisonment by the Taliban and its allies could be a factor in his sentencing.
Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl