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Mother: Fort Bragg soldier convicted in cop shooting had PTSD

Posted September 16, 2015

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— The mother of a Fort Bragg soldier convicted of shooting at police and firemen wants less prison time and more understanding for her son.

Lawyers for Staff Sgt. Joshua Eisenhauer said post-traumatic stress disorder played a role in his actions during a four-hour standoff, but the judge said that didn't matter and sentenced him to up to 18 years.

Eisenhauer, who served two terms in Afghanistan, fired several shots at police and firefighters responding to a fire at his apartment in January 2012.

Eisenhauer’s mother, Dawn Erickson, who lives and works in Afghanistan, has filed a motion for relief with the courts to try and get her son out of jail and into a mental health facility to treat him for PTSD.

“We can only hope that there is justice in North Carolina. I didn’t see it on August 6th,” said Erickson.

Eisenhauer was shot four times during the standoff with police before being taken into custody.

During his sentencing hearing, witnesses including a mental health expert said that Eisenhauer suffered from PTSD. He thought he was in a fire fight with the enemy during the 2012 incident.

Erickson said her son was moved last week from Central Prison to Pender Correctional Institute.

“He can’t think. He said he can’t focus to read or write a letter,” said Erickson. “He has PTSD. He’s not being treated for his PTSD. He doesn’t really know what’s going to happen to him there.”

Eisenhauer is now facing a separation hearing that will put him out of the Army officially. The question that lingers is whether the separation will be honorable.

“I hope not,” said Erickson. “It would break his heart and it would break mine. He served honorably.”

Eisenhauer's seperation hearing is scheduled for Oct. 8 and Fort Bragg.

4 Comments

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  • Ron Coleman Sep 17, 2015
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    Lawyers for Staff Sgt. Joshua Eisenhauer said post-traumatic stress disorder played a role in his actions during a four-hour standoff, but the judge said that didn't matter and sentenced him to up to 18 years.

    They should identify this judge. I am pretty certain this judge never served and to make a statement like that shows absolutely no compassion and less than human. I can't say what I really want to say about this so called judge but I would be flagged.

  • Rudy Bizzell Sep 17, 2015
    user avatar

    They went out to serve their country. They should be cared for psychical and mental issues and not waiting forever to get help from a system so bogged down (va)

  • Deborrah Newton Sep 16, 2015
    user avatar

    I sincerely hope the writer misquoted or misrepresented the Judge's position, and that there were facts which were not reported to support the judgment. The federal court judge (article did not say the jurisdiction of the judge but referenced a Ft. Bragg hearing)(or state or military judge for that matter) is woefully underprepared on Veteran cases raising PTSD indicia as underlying rationale if such is not investigated and considered in light of the willfulness required in criminal conduct. Even the DOD recognizes PTSD as a direct consequence of war for which it must (we must) bear the responsibility and cost by just this year providing a $2mil grant to an RTP firm to investigate efficacy of ganglion interceptor therapy. Educating the judiciary on veteran of war mental health issues is IMPERATIVE to just rulings when they come to the attention of criminal justice. Deb Newton, Attorney

  • Ron Coleman Sep 16, 2015
    user avatar

    The military [US GOVERNMENT] trains a military person for months and years to go to war but when you come home there is no training how to get war out of your head. I know I have been there and it took me 10 years on my own to get the monkey off my back because good ole uncle sam did not care to help me deal with it. I really feel sorry for this young soldier and I am glad that no one was injured and he should not be in jail, he should be somewhere that he can get some serious help. I know what he is feeling inside right now.