HomeMarine CorpsMarine who publicly criticized Afghanistan withdrawal expected to plead guilty

Marine who publicly criticized Afghanistan withdrawal expected to plead guilty

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — A Marine battalion commander relieved of his duties after he made social media comments critical of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan will plead guilty in a special court-martial, his attorney said Wednesday.

Tim Parlatore, an attorney representing Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller, told The Associated Press that his client will accept responsibility for his actions during the special court-martial scheduled to begin Thursday at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

Parlatore said that after Scheller pleads guilty, there will be a sentencing hearing that he expects will last two days.

Scheller has been charged with 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), Capt. Sam Stephenson, a spokesman for Training and Education Command, previously told Marine Corps Times in an email.

In an Aug. 26 video, Scheller demanded accountability from military leaders regarding the withdrawal from Afghanistan after 13 U.S. troops were killed in Kabul. The next day, Scheller was relieved of his command at the Advanced Infantry Training Battalion at Camp Geiger, which is a facility at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

Scheller followed with more social media posts, including an Aug. 29 video in which he appeared to resign his commission and said “follow me and we will bring down the whole … system.”

He continued posting social media videos and posts to Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Scheller’s confinement followed Facebook posts, which, according to a statement sent to Marine Corps Times by Scheller’s parents, broke a “gag order” that required him to remain silent.

Scheller was sent to the brig Sept. 27, but was released on Oct. 5 after his lawyers came to an agreement with the Marine Corps.

Philip Athey contributed to this report.

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