The Latest: On stand, Bergdahl says sorry to the wounded

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

3:20 p.m.

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl unexpectedly took the stand at his sentencing hearing to apologize to service members who got wounded searching for him.

Bergdahl was the first witness that the defence presented as they began putting on their evidence in the sentencing hearing. They hadn't previously made it known that Bergdahl would address the court. It was his most extensive remarks in court yet.

He started with a statement apologizing to those who searched for him, choking up at times.

He said: "My words can't take away what the people have been through."

Under questioning by his own attorneys, he also gave a lengthy description of his brutal five years of captivity by Taliban allies.

He gave an unsworn statement, meaning that the judge will consider it but Bergdahl won't be cross-examined by the prosecutors.

___

12:05 p.m.

The wife of a soldier wounded while searching for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl gave emotional testimony about the effects of his brain trauma on their family.

Prosecutors called their final witness, Shannon Allen, to discuss the injuries suffered by her husband when he was shot during a search mission for Bergdahl after he walked off his post in Afghanistan in 2009. National Guard Master Sgt. Mark Allen was shot in the head during an insurgent ambush.

He's unable to speak and paralyzed over much of his body.

Shannon Allen's voice faltered when she referred to the brain injury's effect on his interactions with their daughter, who was an infant when he was wounded. She is now 9. She said he's not able to reach out and hold his daughter.

Bergdahl faces up to life in prison after pleading guilty to charges that he endangered comrades by walking off his post in Afghanistan in 2009.

___

10:25 a.m.

A military judge has rejected arguments by attorneys for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl that criticism by President Donald Trump is preventing him from having a fair sentencing hearing.

The judge, Army Col. Jeffery Nance, said Monday the court has not been directly affected by Trump's criticism of Bergdahl. He also ruled that a reasonable member of the public would not have doubts about the fairness of military justice because of Trump's comments. He rejected a defence request to rule that it would be unfair to give Bergdahl any prison time.

The judge did say, however, that he would consider Trump's comments as a mitigating factor in the sentencing. Other mitigating and aggravating factors that he could consider include Bergdahl's mental health and serious wounds to service members who searched for him.

Bergdahl faces up to life in prison after pleading guilty to charges that he endangered comrades by walking off his post in Afghanistan in 2009.

___

3 a.m.

The wife of a seriously wounded soldier is expected to take the stand as the sentencing hearing for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl resumes.

Prosecutors told a judge they intend to call Shannon Allen to the stand Monday to discuss a traumatic brain injury her husband suffered. National Guard Master Sgt. Mark Allen was shot in the temple during a search for Bergdahl, who walked off his post in Afghanistan in 2009.

Bergdahl has pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehaviour before the enemy. He faces up to life in prison. Prosecutors are using wounds to several service members who searched for Bergdahl as evidence to convince the judge that he deserves a stiff punishment.


Mom's who have lost kids to overdose have been mailing photos to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as part of a new project called Somebody's Someone.
Trudeau getting hundreds of photos from Interior moms whose children died from overdoses
Hundreds of black-bordered envelopes adorned with purple hearts were sent to the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this week from moms hurt by overdose deaths. Inside the envelopes are photos of family members who have died since the start of t

Top News