Another motion has been filed by Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's defense team.
This time, the lawyers are asking that they be granted their own forensic
psychiatrist to level the playing field with the prosecution-- which already
is already benefiting from the expertise of its own psychiatrist.
Stars and Stripes reports, the motion filed earlier this week requests that defense team
be able to hire psychiatrist Gregory Saathoff. Saathoff, who has extensive
courtroom experience, conducted critical reviews in the case of Ariel
Castro, the Ohio man who kept three women captive in his home for a decade
and was arrested in 2013.
"The fact that the prosecution has retained an independent civilian
forensic psychiatrist with extensive experience testifying in high-profile
trials, and who has a reputation of as a national leading expert in forensic
psychiatry mandates that the defense be provided a similarly qualified
expert," the motion reads. "The defense will accept a civilian
substitute who is comparable to Dr. Saathoff as one of the nation's
premier forensic psychiatrists, and with Dr. Morgan's qualifications
in combat stress, PTSD and the effects of captivity."
Bergdahl's Mental Health
Bergdahl's mental health is likely to be a central point to the defense's
case in his court-martial. This year's season of the Serial podcast
revealed that Bergdahl struggled with schizotypal personality disorder
in his youth and at the time of his disappearance, as well. Before joining
the U.S. Army, Bergdahl had entered boot camp for the U.S. Coast Guard.
Following a bloody panic attack, he was found have suffered from adjustment
disorder and depression. He left boot camp-- but later cleared an Army
psychiatric review during a troop surge.
Bergdahl's mental struggles have been confirmed by the Army. Last summer,
Col. Christopher Lange diagnosed him with schizotypal personality disorder
at the time of his 2009 disappearance. The diagnosis tracks with Bergdahl's
testimony about his reasoning for leaving his post in remote Afghanistan:
he wanted to alert a neighboring base to decisions his own commanders
were making that he felt put him and his fellow soldiers in danger. Schizotypal
personality disorder is characterized by feelings of paranoia, social
anxiety, and delusions of grandeur.
Joseph L. Jordan, Attorney at Law
is a 10+ year U.S. Army vet who now advocates on behalf of accused armed
service members. He has traveled the world to represent his clients both
in and outside the courtroom and established an industry reputation for
providing hard-hitting counsel and favorable results.
If you're an armed service member facing a criminal allegation, our
firm is ready to hear from you. Call our offices today.