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Marine to lose rank for desecration

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — A Marine who pleaded guilty Wednesday to urinating on a dead Taliban fighter in ­Afghanistan will probably be demoted one rank under a plea agreement, although a military judge called for a much harsher sentence.

Staff Sergeant Edward W. Deptola pleaded guilty to multiple charges at court-martial, including dereliction of duty for desecrating remains, posing for photographs with corpses, and failing to properly supervise junior Marines.

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The judge, Lieutenant Colonel Nicole Hudspeth, would have sentenced him to six months confinement, a $5,000 fine, demotion to private, and a bad-conduct discharge. But she is bound by terms of the plea agreement the sergeant reached with military prosecutors. A general could reduce the sentence.

Deptola and another Marine were charged last year after video showed four Marines urinating on three dead ­Afghans in July 2011. In the video, one Marine looked down and quipped, “Have a good day, buddy.”

Deptola, a Southold, N.Y., native, is married with two children, but officials declined to give his age.

Other Marines received lower sentences. Staff Sergeant Joseph W. Chamblin pleaded guilty to similar charges last month. He lost $500 in pay and was reduced in rank to sergeant. Three other Marines were given administrative punishments.

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