FORT CARSON, Colo. (AP) – A soldier who fled to Canada rather than fight in Iraq has been sentenced to 15 months in prison after pleading guilty in Fort Carson, Colo., to a reduced charge of desertion.

Pvt. Robin Long told a military judge at his sentencing Friday that he left the country over moral objections to what he called an illegal war.

Long was stationed at Fort Carson when he fled to Canada in 2005. Canadian authorities denied his request for refuge and deported him last month.

Long reached a plea agreement with prosecutors. He pleaded guilty to desertion with intent to remain away permanently, a lesser charge than desertion with intent to shirk hazardous duty.

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