Forces Command media release – Army Conducts Court-martial Oct. 16 in Sgt. Bergdahl Case — Oct. 16, 2017, 2 p.m. (UNCLASSIFIED)

CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED

Media Release
U.S. Army Forces Command
Directorate of Public Affairs
4700 Knox Street
Fort Bragg, N.C. 28310

Oct. 16, 2017 | 2 p.m.
For Immediate Release

Army Conducts Court-martial Oct. 16 in Sgt. Bergdahl Case

FORT BRAGG, N.C. – Army Judge Col. Jeffery R. Nance conducted Oct. 16 on Fort Bragg, N.C., the first day of the court-martial proceedings in the case of United States vs. Sgt. Robert B. Bergdahl.

The court-martial began at 9:02 a.m. and adjourned at 1:13 p.m. Monday.
Trial counsel present were:  Maj. Justin C. Oshana with assistant trial counsel Maj. Jerrod Fussnecker, Capt. Ann Rutherford and Capt. Nicole Ulrich.  Defense counsel present were:  Lt. Col. Franklin D. Rosenblatt with assistant defense counsel Maj. Jason Thomas, Maj. Oren Gleich, Capt. Nina Banks and Capt. Jennifer Norvell.

Sgt. Bergdahl is charged under the U.S. Armed Forces’ Uniform Code of Military Justice with:  (1) Article 85:  “Desertion with Intent to Shirk Important or Hazardous Duty;” and (2) Article 99: “Misbehavior before the Enemy by Endangering the Safety of a Command, Unit or Place.”

Sgt. Bergdahl entered pleas of guilty to both charges, but indicated his period of desertion was for only one day.  Following the entry of pleas, the government introduced evidence in support of the position that the period of desertion was for the entire period of Sgt. Bergdahl’s captivity.  The military judge found Sgt. Bergdahl guilty of both charges with a one day period of desertion.  The military judge also denied a defense motion to dismiss one of the charges as excessive, but announced he would combine both charges for sentencing purposes.

Sentencing proceedings are scheduled to begin on Oct. 23, 2017.

Forces Command officials charged Sgt. Bergdahl on March 25, 2015, with the two alleged offenses. Army Sgt. Bergdahl disappeared on June 30, 2009, from a combat outpost in Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and was subsequently captured.  The Army conducted a public Article 32 Preliminary Hearing Sept.17-18, 2015, at Joint Base San Antonio, Fort Sam Houston, Texas.  Sgt. Bergdahl was arraigned on Dec. 22, 2015.  He requested on Sept. 27, 2017, a trial by military judge alone.

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Media may direct questions to the U.S. Army Forces Command Public Affairs Office at Fort Bragg, N.C., at telephone 910-570-7200 or 910-570-7217, or by E-mail to john.p.boyce2.civ@mail.mil or
james.e.hinnant.civ@mail.mil.
CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED

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