CAMP LEJEUNE, NC (WWAY) — He once fought for his country as a scout sniper during the war in Afghanistan. The Marine’s conduct in battle, though, could have cost him his military career, but it won’t.
According to the Marine Corps Combat Develop Command, on July 27, 2011, SSgt. Edward Deptola was serving as a scout sniper in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan. After killing Taliban forces during a skirmish, Deptola and members of the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment posed by what were called in court today “their trophies” and took pictures. Members of the group, including Deptola, then recorded a video of themselves urinating on the corpses of the dead taliban fighters.
For his actions that day in Afghanistan Deptola was charged with violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Today, Deptola reached a pretrial agreement. He pleaded guilty to dereliction of duty, bringing dishonor to the Marine Corps and firing an enemy weapon without orders.
When the judge asked why he was pleading guilty, Deptola said he was derelict as a non-commissioned officer by disobeying an order, not supervising junior marines and taking part in insubordination.
After an hour of deliberations the judge ruled that Deptola should serve six months in jail, pay a $5,000 fine, be reduced in rank and discharged for bad conduct. However the pretrial agreement that both sides had agreed to gave Deptola nearly full protection from any punishment, and the maximum penalty that can now be leveled against him is a rank reduction from E6 to E5.He will return to active duty immediately.
In return for his pretrial agreement Deptola will testify against any other Marines charged in the urination incident.