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.

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25 Comments on "FIRST ON 3: Marine pleads guilty in urination case; deal limits sentence"

2015 years 8 months ago

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.

2015 years 8 months ago

Very well said,thankyou.

2015 years 8 months ago

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.

2015 years 8 months ago

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.

2015 years 8 months ago

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.