An Army mechanic who refused to go to Iraq while he sought conscientious objector status was acquitted of desertion at Ft. Stewart but found guilty of a lesser charge and sentenced to 15 months behind bars.
Sgt. Kevin Benderman, 40, also was given a dishonorable discharge and demoted to private on the charge of missing a troop movement.
If he had been convicted of desertion, he could have faced five years in prison.
Benderman failed to deploy with his 3rd Infantry Division unit in January, 10 days after he told Ft. Stewart commanders he was seeking a discharge as a conscientious objector.