Marine Lance Hering so didn't want to return to duty back in 2006 that he and a friend, Steve Powers, cooked up an elaborate story about his disappearance after injury in a Eldorado Canyon climbing accident. The tale and its aftermath (including his arrest in Washington state several months later), told in the 2007 Westword feature "An Uphill Battle," finally has an ending, and it's happier than expected: Yesterday, Hering accepted a plea deal that entails eighteen months of probation, and if he stays out of trouble during that time, the whole matter will be stricken from his record. In addition, Hering will continue mental-health treatment related to a head injury suffered in Iraq -- not during a fictional excursion outside Boulder.
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