Army schedules hearing to consider Bergdahl guilty plea

Idaho U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl will appear before a judge 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 appear before a judge at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, on Monday to enter his plea.  While the Army didn’t elaborate on what his plea would entail, last week 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.

The military probe of Bergdahl began soon after he was freed from captivity in May 2014 in exchange for five Taliban prisoners.  It wasn’t clear if Bergdahl has made a deal with prosecutors to limit his punishment.

The misbehavior charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, while the desertion count is punishable by up to five years.

His trial had been scheduled to begin October 23rd, but that date is now expected to be used for sentencing.

Bergdahl has been assigned to desk duty at a Texas Army base pending the outcome of his legal case. (AP)