A 20-year-old soldier who paid someone to shoot him in the leg to avoid being redeployed to Iraq will serve one year in jail, prosecutors said on Tuesday.
Jonathan Aponte spent his first tour of duty in Iraq as a supply clerk on a military base and was never involved in combat, the Bronx District Attorney’s office said.
Aponte was shot in the knee on July 9. Prosecutors allege that Aponte and his then-wife paid a Bronx man, Felix Padilla, 24, $500 to shoot him. Aponte then told police that he had been wounded during a robbery.
Aponte had also allegedly fabricated stories about his time in Iraq, including telling a grand jury he had witnessed a soldier’s suicide and come under fire in combat. Bronx Assistant District Attorney James Cudden said none of this was true.
In a plea agreement reached with prosecutors, he admitted that he had arranged the shooting to avoid further military service in Iraq and pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of falsely reporting an incident.
In exchange, he will not face perjury charges, which could have carried a four-year jail term, the DA’s office said.
Charges against Aponte’s ex-wife, Alexandra Gonzalez, and Padilla are still pending.