Defense faces deadline in Army general sex case


FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) — Attorneys for an Army general charged with sexual assault face a deadline to decide on a judge's offer to plea-bargain the case with a new set of military officials.

Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair's lawyers have to decide by Tuesday whether they want to submit another plea or proceed with the court martial.

Judge Col. James Pohl made the offer after finding evidence that the case against Sinclair may have been improperly influenced by political concerns.

The judge reviewed newly disclosed emails and said he found the appearance of "unlawful command influence" in the decision to reject a previous plea bargain.

While Pohl declined to dismiss the charges, Sinclair's lead lawyer said the judge's decision was a positive development. The lawyer, Richard Scheff, said the defense hadn't yet decided what to do.

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