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Accused: Iraq-Bound Soldier Jonathan Aponte Hires Hitman To Shoot Him

by | 14th, July 2007

DOES it matter where you get shot? And do you blame him?

CBS) NEW YORK The death and destruction of U.S. troops fighting in Iraq seems to have become so rampant to one local soldier that he actually staged an attack on himself — allegedly hiring a hitman to non-fatally shoot him — so he wouldn’t be sent back for another tour of duty.

Now, 20-year-old Jonathan Aponte is under fire at home in the Bronx for his decision that may send him to prison.

“There are some people mentally that can handle it. There are some people who just can’t. You need to know when to say enough is enough,” Aponte told CBS 2 HD exclusively Friday.

For Aponte, that day was Monday, the very day he was supposed to go back for another tour of duty to serve ten months on the front lines. He admits to CBS 2, however, that he couldn’t face another tour of drama and devastation.

“Bullets being shot at me, almost being hit, with car bombs, burning flesh,” Aponte recalls of his first tour. Now the soldier, his mother, and lawyer all say his plot for pain proves he’s a victim of post traumatic stress disorder caused by the horrific memories of battle.

So…

“I jokingly said that I should get shot in the leg … so that it can buy me some extra time away from Iraq,” he said.After his new wife text messaged a hitman who would do the job, Aponte admits, “I asked him what was a good price. He told me $500 would be fine.”

The shooting was set to happen under a bridge on Gunhill Road on the very day of the redeployment.

“I decided I wasn’t going to go back one way or another,” he said.

When Aponte arrived at the appointed time, he smoked a cigarette then closed his eyes because he didn’t want to see it coming, he told police. The next thing he knew, he had a gunshot wound to his right knee.



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