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The Latest: Defence finishes Bergdahl sentencing argument

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl arrives at the Fort Bragg courtroom facility for a sentencing hearing on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, on Fort Bragg, N.C. Bergdahl, who walked off his base in Afghanistan in 2009 and was held by the Taliban for five years, pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. (Andrew Craft/The Fayetteville Observer via AP)
November 01, 2017 - 12:23 PM

FORT BRAGG, N.C. - The Latest on the sentencing hearing for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl (all times local):

3:20 p.m.

Defence attorneys for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl have finished presenting evidence that they hope will win him leniency on charges of endangering his comrades by walking off his post in Afghanistan in 2009.

They called their last witness and rested Wednesday. Prosecutors told the judge that they may call a rebuttal witness Thursday morning. The judge also asked them to have their closing arguments ready for Thursday.

Bergdahl faces up to life in prison after pleading guilty to desertion and misbehaviour before the enemy. The judge has wide leeway to decide his sentence because Bergdahl made no deal with prosecutors to cap his punishment.

Bergdahl was held captive by Taliban allies for five years.

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12:15 p.m.

A psychiatrist says that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl suffered from a schizophrenia-like condition that helped spur his decision to walk off his post in Afghanistan.

Dr. Charles Morgan testified Wednesday at a sentencing hearing for the 31-year-old Bergdahl on charges he endangered comrades. He faces up to life in prison.

Morgan testified that Bergdahl suffered from schizotypal personality disorder. Morgan said it's similar to schizophrenia but sufferers generally aren't psychotic. Morgan testified that despite the disorder Bergdahl knew right from wrong when he walked off his post intending to reach another base to report what he saw as problems with his unit.

Morgan said that Bergdahl has a self-critical interior monologue that he doesn't recognize as his own thoughts, but it's not the same as audible voices that schizophrenia sufferers hear.

Morgan noted that a symptom of the disorder is that Bergdahl has trouble seeing the second- and third-order effects of his actions and how they will impact other people.

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4:45 a.m.

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's defence attorneys are nearing the end of their efforts to spare him a lengthy punishment.

Bergdahl's sentencing hearing began with several days of witnesses called by prosecutors to describe the wounds to service members who searched for Bergdahl. The defence began their case Monday by calling Bergdahl to the stand. He apologized to the wounded searchers and described his brutal captivity.

On Tuesday, two agents who debriefed Bergdahl talked about how much valuable intelligence he provided.

The defence said they plan to call three more witnesses Wednesday. Closing arguments are expected later this week.

Bergdahl faces up to life in prison after pleading guilty to desertion and misbehaviour before the enemy for walking off his remote post in Afghanistan in 2009.

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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