CAMP LEJEUNE, North Carolina — Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller, whose viral videos criticizing the Afghanistan withdraw led to him being jailed, is expected to plead guilty today to several charges and to seek a discharge from the Marines that would allow him to keep his military benefits, according to an article in the Washington Post.
Scheller, who graduated from Anderson High School and received his post-graduate degree from the University of Cincinnati, is scheduled for court martial at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina on Thursday. He faces charges that include: disrespect toward superior commissioned officers, willfully disobeying a superior commissioned officer, and dereliction in the performance of duties. His charges are related to a series of videos he made on his Facebook account after 13 U.S. troops and 170 Afghans were killed during the U.S. withdraw from Afghanistan.
Tim Parlatore, one of Scheller's attorneys, told the Washington Post in a phone interview that he could not get into the specifics of a pretrial agreement because some of the details were still "up in the air," but said the case began with Scheller demanding accountability from others, and it would "make him a hypocrite" if the Marine did not accept responsibility for his own actions.
Scheller hopes he will avoid additional jail time and receive an honorable discharge, or a general discharge with honorable conditions. Parlatore said he hoped Scheller would receive only a letter of reprimand.
Several Republicans have called for his release from jail last month in a letter to the court. His case was also highlighted by conservative media. Parlatore was also the attorney for retired Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, who was acquitted of alleged murders in Iraq and now advocates for service members facing criminal charges.
Scheller is a 17-year infantry officer with experience in both Afghanistan and Iraq. He posted his first video after the terror bombing at Hamid Karzai International Airport during the withdraw. He was removed as commander of the Advanced Infantry Training Batallion at Camp Lejeune soon afterward.