S&S - AWOL Army captain faces hearing for desertion
Stars and Stripes
AWOL Army captain faces hearing for desertion
By John Vandiver, Stars and Stripes
European edition, Sunday, December 23, 2007
BAUMHOLDER, Germany — Capt. Robert Przybylski, the Baumholder-based officer who was AWOL for a month, faces an Article 32 hearing for a charge of desertion, though a date is yet to be set.
Przybylski, through his defense counsel, requested a delay in the proceeding, which had been scheduled for Dec. 14, according to V Corps.
Lt. Col. Amy Hannah, a V Corps spokeswoman, said on Friday that legal restrictions prohibited the Army from disclosing the cause for Przybylski’s request.
Przybylski, who was reported absent without leave on Oct. 10, was a company commander within the 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division in Baumholder. The brigade is scheduled to deploy to Iraq in early 2008.
So far, the cause for Przybylski’s sudden disappearance in October remains unexplained.
Following his disappearance, investigators launched a series of radio announcements and a TV crawler on American Forces Network in the hope of persuading the captain to return home. But Przybylski’s absence persisted and the spots were pulled after a few days.
On Nov. 5, Przybylski was charged with desertion in violation of Article 85 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice “as part of the administrative process to drop him from the unit’s rolls,” V Corps reported in a prepared statement.
On Nov. 9, Przybylski turned himself over to authorities in Kaiserslautern, ending weeks of speculation about his whereabouts.
“Upon his return, the command served the charge sheet on the accused and forwarded it to the special court-martial convening authority (the 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division commander),” V Corps stated.
The commander, Col. Robert P. White, has appointed an investigating officer to conduct an Article 32, according to V Corps. The hearing will determine whether enough evidence exists against the accused officer to proceed to a court-martial.
After Przybylski turned himself in, officials initially stated that it was premature to discuss any action that may or may not be taken against Przybylski, and that such decisions will be made only after the investigation into the captain’s absence is complete.
Przybylski, through his attorney, has declined to comment on the case, according to V Corps.
Before joining the 2nd Brigade, Przybylski worked at the division level as a planning and integrations officer. In 2003 he served as an airborne scout platoon leader in Iraq.