BAUMHOLDER, Germany — Spc. Randall Wood had hoped to be out of jail and back home in Alabama for the birth of his child, due in November, after pleading guilty to a number of crimes.

Instead, Wood is headed for at least a year in confinement as the sixth of at least 12 Baumholder-based soldiers connected to last summer’s crime spree on and around this 1st Armored Division base.

Under a plea agreement, Wood pleaded guilty in a judge-only proceeding Wednesday to distributing MDMA, or Ecstasy; using Ecstasy, marijuana and fentanyl; breaking restrictions and being away without leave from his unit, Company C, 40th Engineer (Combat) Battalion.

He also pleaded guilty to possessing 13 vials of steroids, along with needles and syringes, as well as to “wrongful use of provoking words” during a Jan. 29 altercation with German police in the Sachsenhausen bar district of Frankfurt.

In return for those guilty pleas, Wood pleaded not guilty to four charges including resisting apprehension, failure to report for duty and disobeying an order from a noncommissioned officer.

Wood faced a maximum sentence of 33 years, eight months. Prosecutors — Capt. Tyson McDonald and Capt. Alison Gregoire — asked for a sentence of 22 months.

Ultimately, Judge (Col.) Denise Lind sentenced Wood to 16 months, reduction in rank to E-1, or private, and a bad-conduct discharge. He will get credit for 77 days in custody. As part of the plea agreement, Maj. Gen. Doug Robinson, the convening authority and 1st AD commander, had agreed to a 13-month sentencing cap, Lind said.

During the sentencing phase, Wood’s defense attorney, Capt. Christopher Burgess, pointed out that in February 2005, his client had a clean record during his first two years in the Army, which included an Iraq deployment. It was only after returning to Baumholder from Iraq that Wood went AWOL, then began using and selling drugs.

Though it wasn’t part of a formal defense, Wood said in his unsworn statement how he soured on the Army after his then-fiancé was raped, and he was not allowed to go home because she wasn’t a spouse or family member.

“I just want to go back home and not mess up anymore,” Wood told Lind.

In exchange for owning up to his crimes, Wood was willing to be “kicked out” so he could have “a chance to move on with his life and support his wife and child,” Burgess said.

In her rebuttal, Gregoire told Lind that Wood never apologized for the damage he caused to the Army, especially by selling drugs to fellow combat engineers, whose work with explosives and mines “calls for sobriety and clarity of mind.”

Wood testified that fellow 40th Engineer soldier Pfc. Zachary Watson — the convicted leader of the Rathaus Gang of soldiers who used and dealt drugs, robbed a taxi driver and stole Army computers — sold Ecstasy for him.

“He was like a runner,” Wood said.

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