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Army deserter, husband seeking help to lighten sentence

By Joe Dominguez, Multimedia Journalist - Pueblo Chieftain Bureau , j.dominguez@krdo.com
Published On: May 09 2013 11:26:45 PM CDT
Updated On: May 09 2013 11:34:26 PM CDT

The husband of the Army's first convicted female on desertion charges during the Iraq War is hoping civilian support can lighten her sentence.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

The husband of the Army's first convicted female on desertion charges during the Iraq War is hoping civilian support can lighten her sentence.

Mario Rivera shared with KRDO Newschannel 13 a letter, written by his wife Kimberly, that he left at the offices of Colorado senators Thursday.

It asks senators to intervene in the case to reduce Kimberly's sentence. Mario argues that the 10-month sentence began when she was convicted and does not account for the eight months he said she spent in jail prior to her sentencing April 29.

"We're trying to get them to help out and try to, at the very least, reduce her sentence so she doesn't have to have the baby in prison," said Mario Rivera.

Kimberly has argued that her time in Iraq left her unable to commit violence for the Army. Kimberly, Mario and their children moved to Canada for several years in an attempt to seek asylum. She turned herself in last year.

"Actually being there in Iraq and being faced with the position of having to pull theĀ  trigger on someone -- she knew in her heart she couldn't do it," said Mario Rivera.

Mario is upset at the thought of his wife spending another 10 months in jail, a total of one and a half years, for something that other deserters only get three or six months in jail for.

"I feel if somebody stands up for their morals -can't in their heart harm another human being- shouldn't be punished like she has," said Mario.

The family has created a website that details their battle with the Army. You can find that website here.

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