Miami Man Accused of Leaving Army Without Authorization

Walter Palma will remain in custody until Jan. 11 unless the army puts him in their custody sooner.

A Miami man has been arrested for leaving the Army without authorization, authorities said.
Walter Palma, 34, faces an army desertion charge and is being held in jail without bond, according to an arrest affidavit.
Palma appeared in court for the first time on Wednesday since his Friday arrest. His lawyer told Judge Milton Hirsch that waiting more than 48 hours for a court date was against his client's constitutional rights.
His lawyer asked for Palma to be released on his own recognizance arguing that the military should have known where Palma was. Hirsch denied bond because the military was not officially notified about his arrest until Tuesday.
Hirsch said the military is entitled to a reasonable opportunity to put Palma in their custody. He can be released into the Army's custody if they decide to detain him by Jan. 11. If no action has been taken by that date, Palma will appear in court and Hirsch will set his bail.
"I cannot hold him indefinitely. This is not Guantanamo," Hirsch said in court.

Telephone messages left with the Army weren't immediately returned.

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