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Army Private Shot in Leg by Friend with M-16 to Escape Military

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A U.S. Army soldier—trying to ditch service and deployment--asks a fellow Private to shoot him in the leg for five grand and a job. The pair choose an M-16 as the weapon, fired from three inches’ distance, requiring 25 surgeries in a years’ time to repair the mangled leg.

Jonne Wegley—a Georgia soldier whom joined the United States Army in 2009--immediately began having troubles during basic training. The Army Private’s brother was severely injured, his girlfriend found to have had an abortion and caught cheating on him.

Rather than face Army assignment, Wegley asked a friend to shoot him in the leg—so that he’d be unfit for duty but not hurt too severely. The 19-year-old Private thought he’d get out of Army duty with medical disability in May 2009--instead he’s been left with a mutilated leg and been court-martialed. The friend was reluctant but went through with the shooting. A single shot was fired—from an M-16, 3” from his leg.

Wegley's leg was mangled in the M-16 shooting—so far requiring 25 surgeries. The Army Private had promised the shooter, a buddy (or former one), $5,000 plus a job, for the single shot that’s left him essentially crippled. William M. Hudgins, the shooter who served with Wegley in D Company, 1-330th Infantry Regiment, 198th Infantry Brigade testified that he’d originally turned down Wegley’s request to shoot him in the leg—until the offer of cash came into play.

Army Private Wegley was facing multiple charges including solicitation to commit aggravated assault, maiming, intentionally inflicting self injury and conspiracy. After a single-day court martial, Wegley found guilty of all except the maiming charge.

Don’t screw with the U.S. Army: after having his leg permanently mangled, Private Wegley also got four months’ confinement and a dishonorable discharge—still better than the three-year prison term and a bad conduct discharge that prosecutors were seeking.

Private Hudgins got 10 months in confinement, served prior to Wegley’s sentencing—but at least escaped the deal with no mangled leg.

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