Army Corporal faces 5+ years in prison, lawsuit for attacking Airman

Army Corporal Nicholas Wyatt Brett (left, middle) is awaiting sentencing for an assault on Airman 1st Class Seth Duggan (right) last year.

An Anchorage-area soldier who pleaded guilty to attacking an airman at Joint Base Elmendorf–Richardson is now facing a civil lawsuit in addition to a sentence.

Army Corporal Nicholas Wyatt Brett admitted to third-degree assault (as part of a plea deal with State prosecutors) after he attacked Airman First Class Seth Duggan at a local bar on August 6.

In what was called an “unprovoked” attack by witnesses, Brett held Duggan’s head in place with his left hand before striking him with his right elbow, slamming the airman’s head into a metal bar with such force that it fractured his skull, leaving him with traumatic brain injuries, deaf in one ear and unable to walk without a cane.

According to KTVA, civil complaint documents allege that Brett not only struck Duggan while under the influence of alcohol and then failed to render aid, but delivered a second blow “intentionally.” He was seen giving someone a “high-five” after the attack.

Brett did not know Duggan personally, and prosecutors claim the soldier was “looking for trouble” on the night of the assault.

Judge Catherine Easter will decide Brett’s sentence in a few weeks, which usually carries a maximum sentence of five years and a $50,000 fine. However, due to the nature of the crime and due to the plea deal, the judge could be permitted to exceed the typical sentence range.

Brett’s attorney has asked that his client get credit for 96 days served on an electronic ankle monitor.

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