Judge moves Bowe Bergdahl trial to April 2017

Bowe Bergdahl
Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, right, arrives for a pretrial hearing at Fort Bragg, N.C., with his defense counsel Lt. Col. Franklin D. Rosenblatt, left, on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016. Bergdahl, who was held by the Taliban for five years after he walked off a base in Afghanistan, faces charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. (AP Photo/Ted Richardson)

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) — A military judge has newly adjusted the trial date for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, saying the proceeding is to open in April 2017.

The judge, Army Col. Jeffery Nance, had initially decided Monday to move the trial back to mid-May. But on Tuesday, he said he had given it more thought and wants to start on April 18.

Bergdahl, who’s from Hailey, Idaho, walked off his post in Afghanistan in 2009. He is charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, the latter of which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Previously the trial was set to open in February. But the prosecution recently requested a delay, citing the pace at which they are able to turn over classified evidence.

The judge also heard more testimony on whether to admit evidence of injuries to soldiers wounded in a firefight as they searched for Bergdahl in 2009. Nance said he’ll rule later on whether that evidence should be allowed at trial.

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