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His attorney, Jose Baez, says PTSD was to blame

6:05 PM, Jan 23, 2014   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- He's a former green beret and bronze star recipient who has also plead guilty to a pair of armed robberies in the Bay Area.

However, today at his sentencing, the attorneys for Gabe Brown asked the court to have mercy on him as he suffers from PTSD.

Gabe Brown, entered the army at 17-years-old and quickly climbed up the ranks. He had tours in Afghanistan and Iraq and when he returned home, his ex-wife says he changed.

"He's a loving man, a great father. He's very oriented. He just fell into some depression and PTSD," says Maria Suarez, ex-wife.

Since his time in the army Brown became addicted to drugs, alcohol, gambling, and ended up behind bars after committing a rash of armed robberies in Hillsborough County and Polk County.

In Federal Court Thursday, his lawyers plead to the judge that he committed these crimes because of his mental illness.

"Our systems is not equipped to handle situations like this. We are lagging behind of what our veterans need," says Brown's lawyer Jose Baez.

Baez believes our hero's need to receive better taken when they return home. He says more than 20% of the troops who return home from war suffer from PTSD.

The judge sentenced Brown to just five years in prison and Baez believes this is a new beginning for veterans suffering from PTSD.

"We are going to be able to assist veterans and identify issues and preventing them from falling into this," says Baez.

For now, it's a new beginning for Brown and his family

"He truly is a hero. He is my baby," says Brown's mom.

When the judge sentenced Brown he said this was one of the most difficult cases he has ever sentenced.

Brown will undergo drug treatment and PTSD treatment during his time in prison.

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