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Tri-State Marine to plead guilty after criticizing withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan: Reports

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 6:28 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - A Marine officer from Greater Cincinnati who publicly criticized the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan will plead guilty to several charges filed against him for his comments, according to media reports.

Lt. Col. Stu Scheller’s Special Court Martial is scheduled for Thursday and Friday, according to Marine Corps Training and Education Command Spokesperson Sam Stephenson.

Proceedings are set to begin at 9 a.m.

Tim Parlatore, one of Scheller’s attorneys, told The Hill this week that Scheller will be pleading guilty in the case.

Efforts are now underway for an agreement, the Hill reports, with the hope of getting Scheller an honorable discharge or a discharge with honorable conditions.

Scheller should only get a letter of reprimand and no additional punishments following the “totally excessive and unnecessary” week in the brig, his lawyer told The Hill.

The potential agreement was first reported by The Washington Post, with the possibility of a plea deal first reported by Coffee or Die Magazine.

Lt. Col. Scheller was put in the brig at Camp Lejeune after posting videos of himself online criticizing military leadership for its response in Afghanistan.

He faces court martial charges for violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Stephenson said.

Lt. Col. Scheller was accused of violating Article 88 (Contempt toward officials), Article 89 (Disrespect toward superior commissioned officers), Article 90 (Willfully disobeying a superior commissioned officer), Article 92 (Dereliction in the performance of duties), Article 92 (Failure to obey order or regulation) and Article 133 (Conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman).

He was released from the brig earlier this month as part of an agreement between himself, his defense counsel, the Commanding General and Training Command.

Scheller’s parents reached out to Congressman Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) last month for help as they worked to get their son out of military prison.

“Knowing he is from the district, I had an opportunity... a chance to speak with his family who reached out to me, and you know, I wanted to be a little bit consoling,” Wenstrup told FOX 19 NOW at the time. “I’m still a member of the military. I’m in the Army Reserves and there are certain things you can and can’t say. And you know, as I looked into this, he came out and said things like ‘I know that I’m going to be in trouble for this, but I need to speak up.’”

U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky also came to the aid of Lt. Col. Scheller when he and 11 other members of Congress signed a letter calling for an expedited review and his removal from pretrial confinement.

Lt. Col. Schiller’s parents told Laura Ingraham, host of Fox News Channel’s “The Ingraham Angle,” that “something inside of our son snapped” when 13 troops died at the Kabul Airport.

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