Dramatic sentencing hearing expected in Bergdahl case

FILE - In this Jan. 12, 2016, file photo, Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl arrives for a pretrial hearing at Fort Bragg, N.C. Bergdahl will appear before a judge, Monday, Oct. 16, 2017, to enter an expected guilty plea to charges that he endangered comrades by walking off his remote post in Afghanistan in 2009. (AP Photo/Ted Richardson, File)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The fate of Bowe Bergdahl rests in a judge’s hands now that the Army sergeant has pleaded guilty to endangering his comrades by leaving his post in Afghanistan in 2009.

Sentencing for Bergdahl starts Monday at Fort Bragg and is expected to feature dramatic testimony about soldiers and a Navy SEAL badly hurt while they searched for the missing Bergdahl. Bergdahl was held captive for five years by Taliban allies after leaving his post.

Bergdahl faces up to life in prison on charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy after pleading guilty to the charges last week.

Bergdahl made his plea without striking a deal with prosecutors for a lesser punishment. Legal experts say the risky move may be a sign that the evidence against Bergdahl was strong.