Convicted spy for Russia moves to withdraw guilty plea

Posted at 4:37 PM, May 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-29 16:37:24-04

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- A former Army Green Beret sentenced to more than 15 years in prison for spying for Russia has filed paperwork seeking to withdraw his guilty plea.

Peter Debbins of Gainesville, Virginia, filed the handwritten motion earlier this week from his jail cell in Alexandria, Virginia.

He gave no reason for doing so, but the filing came less than two weeks after he was sentenced to 188 months in prison for violating the federal Espionage Act. The sentence he received was significantly longer than the five-year term his lawyer had requested.

Prosecutors say Debbins has no basis for withdrawing his plea, and Debbins' own attorney filed papers seeking to negate his motion.

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