Fort Benning private court-martialed for paying soldier to shoot him
A Fort Benning private accused of paying a fellow solider to shoot him in the leg so he could get out of the Army has been court-martialed.
Pvt. Jonne T. Wegley was sentenced to four months’ confinement and given a dishonorable discharge after being found guilty Monday of solicitation to commit aggravated assault, maiming, intentionally inflicting self-injury and conspiracy, the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports.
Wegley and William M. Hudgins carried out the scheme in a wooded area near the firing range during basic training in May 2009, after Wegley offered Hudgins $5,000 and a job, prosecutors said.
Wegley was depressed, prosecutors said. His brother was in the hospital and his girlfriend had aborted their child after finding proof Wegley cheated on her, prosecutors said, according to the paper.
“Private Wegley is a self-serving individual willing to do anything to get out of the Army,” Capt. Caitlin Chiaramonte told the court. “Private Wegley not only ruined his career, but Mr. Hudgins’ career.”
Wegley’s attorney argued the shooting was a negligent discharge, adding that the private could have been kicked out of the Army for simply refusing to train, the paper reported.
Hudgins spent 10 months behind bars for his role, and he cooperated with prosecutors.
Wegley told the court he has severe nerve damage due to the shooting. He said he’s undergone knee reconstruction, skin grafts and multiple surgeries. But the court denied his request for no confinement.
By Larry Hartstein
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
9:08 a.m. Tuesday, September 14, 2010