Laws encourage alternatives to prison for veterans with PTSD

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Defenders of a former Army sergeant in North Carolina say he truly believed he was protecting fellow soldiers from a Taliban bomber when he fired 24 rounds at police and firefighters responding to a fire in his apartment.

Psychologists testified that Joshua Eisenhauer returned from Afghanistan with post-traumatic stress that made him a paranoid, hyper-vigilant insomniac, and so delusional that he drew his weapon whenever anyone came to his door in Fayetteville.

They say untreated PTSD could scramble his mind beyond repair if he spends the rest of his sentence, up to 18 years, in prison.

North Carolina is considering enabling judges to consider PTSD as a mitigating factor when sentencing military veterans. Critics say this is unnecessary and could end up harming veterans and others with the disorder.