Soldier Guilty of Assault Is Demoted but Avoids Jail
A military jury spared an Army reservist jail time but reduced his rank Thursday for assaulting a prisoner who later died at a detention center in Afghanistan.
Prosecutors had asked that Pfc. Willie V. Brand, 27, be sent to a military prison for 10 years with a dishonorable discharge for the 2002 beating. Instead, the panel reduced his rank to private, the lowest pay grade in the Army, and set him free.
Brand sighed in relief and hugged his lawyer. A commander reviews military jury decisions but cannot impose a more serious penalty.
“I definitely didn’t expect this,” Brand said as he stood with his wife after the hearing. He said he wasn’t sure if he would stay in the Army.
Brand was convicted Wednesday of assault, maltreatment, maiming and making a false statement in connection with an attack on a detainee known as Dilawar. The jury acquitted him of charges that he abused a second detainee.