On Friday, Army Sgt. Bow Bergdahl walked out of a North Carolina courtroom a free man, Fox News reports. Eight years after he left his Army base in Afghanistan and ended up in the hands of the Taliban.
Bergdahl pleaded guilty to endangering his fellow troops and was fined, reduced in rank to E1 and dishonorably discharged, however, he did not receive any jail time.
As part of his sentence, Bergdahl will forfeit his salary of $1,000 per month for the next ten months, Fox News reported.
Bergdahl was shaking and appeared visibly upset and emotional as the verdict was read aloud quickly.
Bergdahl had faced the possibility of life in prison for desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, and prosecutors had originally asked for a 14-year prison term following a week of emotional testimony from the survivors who were wounded during missions to retrieve Bergdahl after he left the military base in June 2009.
“Sgt. Bergdahl has been punished enough,” Capt. Nina Banks, a defense attorney said. “Sgt. Bergdahl paid a bitter price for the choices that he made.”
“He relives that torture he experienced for five years,” Banks said at the courthouse on Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina, during closing arguments. “He will forever carry those scars with him.”
(Crusader Journal Staff)