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Bergdahl Chooses to Have Trial Heard by Judge and Not Jury

In this Jan. 12, 2016, file photo, Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl arrives for a pretrial hearing at Fort Bragg, N.C. (AP Photo/Ted Richardson)
In this Jan. 12, 2016, file photo, Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl arrives for a pretrial hearing at Fort Bragg, N.C. (AP Photo/Ted Richardson)

RALEIGH, N.C. — Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is choosing be tried by a judge — not a military jury — on charges that he endangered comrades by walking off his post in Afghanistan.

Bergdahl's lawyers told the court in a filing last week that he's choosing to have a trial by judge alone, rather than a panel of military members.

He faces charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy at his trial scheduled for late October.

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Defense lawyers have questioned whether Bergdahl could have gotten a fair trial by a military jury because of negative comments made by President Donald Trump when he was campaigning.

Bergdahl is from Idaho. He walked off his post in Afghanistan in 2009 and was subsequently held by the Taliban and its allies for five years.

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