FIRST ON 3: Marine pleads guilty in urination case; deal limits sentence

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Submitted: Thu, 01/17/2013 - 4:59am
Updated: Thu, 01/17/2013 - 1:51pm

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.


  • George says:

    What these guys did was spur of the moment,and not good judgement by any means.As a veteran of multiple terrorist contacts,I fully understand regretful judgement while living in such harsh and terrifying conditions.Added to the stress are,the mixed messages on the rules of engagement coming from political decisions and,the constant barrage of negative content stories coming out of our own media.The sitation has to be very ,confusing to any 20 something who has put their life on the line,and sacrificed so much of their civilian freedom to fight this dangerous war.If you have not experienced this type of warfare,you cannot begin to imagine just how digustingly savage and evil humanity can be.The problem here was,once again our media could not wait,to use this story and images to condemn the troops and their actions.This constant dividing of our nation must stop or we are not going to like the results.

  • George says:

    Very well said,thankyou.

  • B M says:

    This is one sad country, you take young people, you throw them into a strange land and you ask them to fight for a cause that is not all that clear, then they watch their friends killed and maimed and beheaded and mutilated and hung from bridges and yet they go on, they are surrounded by death every day fighting for this country and yes, maybe pissing on a body seems bad in a split second of a break from sheer terror, but 5 minutes later they are thrust back into a war of not their choosing and own they go, willing to give their lives in a blink of an eye so we can sleep sound every night, they deserve better.

  • ChefnSurf says:

    The troglodytes who posted all of these immature posts about defecation on our enemies and lowering oneself to a person’s basest animal instincts and ALL Muslims are evil and Muslims are Obama’s brothers seem to have emerged from the mists of time untouched by human evolution or education. Devoid of a single progressive idea and lacking the slightest awareness of social and cultural advances they seem to post with the same amount of thoughtfulness they apply to relieving themselves.

    That’s the same sort of rigid, non-progressive thinking we attribute to other less socially developed groups; such as the Taliban.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    what he did was wrong. He admitted it. Called lack of command presence.

    Pre-trial agreement limited punishment to a one grade rank reduction.

    Now his next challenge, if he intends to remain in the Corps as a career, will be when his current “contract” comes up. The rank reduction may force him out unless he can regain it. As you know, the Corps has a sliding scale of rank and time in service. That may be his ultimate price.

  • Guest123 says:

    NO, not all muslims are violent and horrible.

  • Guest2222 says:

    This is so hard to comment on, because yes, they were bad people who deserved to die.Yes, muslims are very violent and horrible people.
    But on the other hand, it is kind of yucky to say you peed on a dead body. Killing them would be enough to satisfy the soul, at least I would think so. I don’t think comparing them to what they would do to an American would be a good idea because I don’t think there is any comparison whatsoever. I never want to hear that we should do something to them that they did to us. We are soooo much better than that, and let’s keep it that way !!!

  • Vog46 says:

    If you believe in America’s sense of exceptionalism then you have no right to complain about this.
    If we are supposed to be better than everyone else then this was the Right thing to do – court martial them
    We have a code of military justice BECAUSE of American exceptionalism, and the Marines are held to a higher standard because they believe they are better than any other branch of the services.
    IF you want us to be LIKE the Taliban (or the rest of the world) then let these guys get away with it.
    We are Americans, we are better than most other nations and our soldiers are better than others. We do things like court martials because of it.

    Deal with it…………


  • SouthEastNC says:

    good thing R. Kelly never joined the Marines

  • GuestX says:

    Glad that this soldier wasnt given anything more than what he got.
    Now send him back and let him continue his good work.

  • Tracie C says:

    Thank you Guestman. Unfortunately in todays military your exemplary attitude isn’t the norm. Want to really see how today’s “marines” are? Go to the “Help John Adam Kinosh” Facebook page and read. Watch the video then read what the “marines” post….although none of them has the guts to post as a real person.
    I was truly amazed at this soldiers response to his charges and how he took his punishment. He got smart a little too late but at least he admitted he was wrong.
    Many in our armed forces could learn a lesson from people like Guestman. REAL soldiers don’t want to act like the enemy idiots.

  • GuestMan. says:

    Speaking as an honorably discharged veteran I have to say one thing: What these idiots did offends ME. Where did they get their training? This problem goes much higher up than these fools. Who gave them the idea this was OK? He pled guilty so he knows he did wrong and all of you chicken hawks that never served, or served stateside the whole time you were in, should just shut up. Any soldier knows there are things you just don’t do, and this is one of them.

  • Mickeyg says:

    Political correctness has, as usual, run amok. I haven’t seen anyone chastising the opposition for hacking heads off and other stone age tactics, however we attempt to ruin marines simply because it might make the opponents feel bad. Go Marines!

  • Guest5464654 says:

    Who cares if it “Offends” our enemy.

  • mike moore says:

    All Marines should be free to urinate on any and all dead Taliban. Defecating on them should be allowed too!

  • Guest wilm says:

    he is perfect for the dawson task force and we need more military hires at wpd

  • Tax Paying Citizen says:

    It is very sad to me that this Marine is even being tried. No one is tried when our guys are over in Afghanistan the people we are training turns on Americans and kills them. No one has the guts to say muslins are not peaceful people. They are pure evil!!! Wish we had a president that had courage to stand up for our Troops!! But what do you expect when the muslims are his brothers!!!

  • Scally Wagg says:

    there’s no excuse for urinating on a dead body friend or foe

  • guesty says:

    They should be given medals and told good job.

  • long says:

    to do with offending the enemy. its about discipline “in country”. its one thing to behave like an idiot stateside, but another to act stupid in a war with no front line. if you’re an infantryman, you hope your comrades bring their “A game” better than these clowns. there are very few pictures of American GI’s desecrating Nazi SS troops, because a lapse of focus would have gotten you killed. when you fight chumps you can get lazy like these marines, however, our next opponents may collecting those boys ears…

  • Guest Reply says:

    I’d given the 4 Marines a $1000 check “each” if they would have CRAPPED on them!!!!They will Crap on us when given the chance….Ya Think?
    Their lawyer needs to tell the Big Shots that this video was an animated video…and it really didn’t happen.
    Pissing on them? That’s almost like saying…don’t shoot a big gun at them…it may disfigure them. How about what the Daisy Cutters have done? Duh!

  • Guestinthecrosshairs says:

    No, the video was amongst them, the poster should fry.

  • Guest222222 says:

    its not right but congress should just give these soliders a break. heat of the moment.

    congress should be tried in court for “signing papers” letting America’s young men and women go over there, in all fairness!

  • Guest13131 says:

    ‘Only thing these boys did wrong is letting someone take their picture.’

    ain’t that the truth

  • vet says:

    Only thing these boys did wrong is letting someone take their picture.

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