Ft. Stewart soldier charged for fleeing to Canada

By: Russ Bynum / AP Military Writer
By: Russ Bynum / AP Military Writer

The attorney for a Fort Stewart soldier who fled to Canada to avoid the war in Iraq says the Army has charged him with desertion.

Twenty-nine-year-old Spc. Cliff Cornell of Mountain Home, Ark., returned to the Georgia Army post two weeks ago after the Canadian government denied his request for asylum as a war objector.

His lawyer, James Branum, said Thursday that Fort Stewart commanders filed desertion charges against Cornell earlier this week. The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Cornell left his unit with the Army's 3rd Infantry Division for Canada in 2005. Cornell says he didn't believe the war was helping Iraqi citizens and he couldn't stomach the thought of killing.


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