Accused Army deserter released from jail

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A Hampton man accused of deserting the Army was released from jail Tuesday morning and went home pending a legal battle with the military in Oklahoma over his status.

Gary Naranjo, 49, was arrested Sunday at his home and jailed on a Department of Defense detainer.

His lawyer, Efrem Grail, filed an emergency petition Monday in federal court to have him released from the Allegheny County Jail because he said Mr. Naranjo needs medication.

Mr. Grail withdrew his petition after working with the Army's Judge Advocate General, the U.S. attorney's office and the jail staff to get the detainer lifted so Mr. Naranjo could be released. He will be allowed to self-report to Fort Sill, Okla., where he will face a military court proceeding.

According to his court petition, Mr. Naranjo served in the Army from 1985 to 2000 and was discharged for medical reasons. He said in the petition that he never received any notice from the Army that he was a deserter and is “completely ignorant” of the factual basis for the military's warrant.

Fort Sill personnel sent the notice of desertion to his father in Miami in 2010, according to the complaint, but the date and details of the alleged desertion aren't clear.

Mr. Naranjo, a corporate recruiter, has been a resident of Allegheny County for a dozen years, first in Upper St. Clair and now in Hampton, where he lives with his wife and two children.

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