Originally created 10/20/06

Soldier sentenced to 3 months' labor



A Fort Gordon soldier who wanted to get out of the Army instead will have to do three months of hard labor for the military after he was sentenced at his court-martial Thursday.

Pvt. Shaun D. Woodham, 21, of New Jersey, received the sentence after pleading guilty to larceny, unlawful entry, making a false statement, receiving stolen property and two counts of being absent without leave, said Marla Jones, a civilian post spokeswoman.

He could have been given a bad conduct discharge, but instead received the three months of hard labor, reduction in pay grade to E-1 from his current grade of E-2, and restriction to his company's area and dining facility for two months.

He was also sentenced to 90 days in confinement but received credit for time served during pretrial detention.

Pvt. Woodham is one of several soldiers convicted in a May 2006 burglary at a building housing Fort Gordon's bus station, a travel agency and restaurant. He was accused of entering Building 36200, located on Third Avenue, which had been left unlocked on May 9. Some of his co-defendants broke into the restaurant and stole money and food while he remained in the lobby.

A second burglary happened at the building two days later, the government said, and money and personal property were stolen from the travel agency while Pvt. Woodham and another soldier waited in the woods nearby.

Pvt. Woodham received about $200 when the money was divided among the soldiers at a motel in Augusta, the government said in court documents.

He was also accused of stealing a portable video game from the post exchange and being AWOL from March 12 through April 11 and from May 9 until he surrendered to military authorities July 18 in Florida.

In the court-martial Thursday, Pvt. Woodham told the court that he wanted out of the Army, Ms. Jones said.

In September, Pvt. Ashley E. Wood pleaded guilty to similar charges in the case and received two months' confinement, a bad conduct discharge and a reduction in pay grade to E-1.

Another soldier in the case, Pvt. Bryan Peters, faces a court-martial in November.

Reach Jeremy Craig at (706) 823-3409 or jeremy.craig@augustachronicle.com.