The Latest: Psychiatrist describes Bergdahl mental disorders

AP News
Posted: Nov 01, 2017 12:12 PM
The Latest: Psychiatrist describes Bergdahl mental disorders

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on the sentencing hearing for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl (all times local):

12:15 p.m.

A psychiatrist says that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl suffered from a schizophrenia-like condition that helped spur his decision to walk off his post in Afghanistan.

Dr. Charles Morgan testified Wednesday at a sentencing hearing for the 31-year-old Bergdahl on charges he endangered comrades. He faces up to life in prison.

Morgan testified that Bergdahl suffered from schizotypal personality disorder. Morgan said the disorder is similar to schizophrenia but sufferers generally aren't psychotic. Morgan testified that despite the disorder Bergdahl knew right from wrong when he walked off his post intending to reach another base to report what he saw as problems with his unit.

Morgan said that Bergdahl has a self-critical interior monologue that he doesn't recognize as his own thoughts, but it's not the same as audible voices that schizophrenia sufferers hear.

Morgan noted that a symptom of the disorder is that Bergdahl has trouble seeing the second- and third-order effects of his actions and how they will impact other people.

4:45 a.m.

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's defense attorneys are nearing the end of their efforts to spare him a lengthy punishment.

Bergdahl's sentencing hearing began with several days of witnesses called by prosecutors to describe the wounds to service members who searched for Bergdahl. The defense began their case Monday by calling Bergdahl to the stand. He apologized to the wounded searchers and described his brutal captivity.

On Tuesday, two agents who debriefed Bergdahl talked about how much valuable intelligence he provided.

The defense said they plan to call three more witnesses Wednesday. Closing arguments are expected later this week.

Bergdahl faces up to life in prison after pleading guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy for walking off his remote post in Afghanistan in 2009.