He was formally charged on July 6, 2010, with violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Espionage Act. In March 2011, the military revised the alleged violations and filed 22 charges against Manning.
He was held for months by the military in solitary confinement, a move that drew sharp criticism from Amnesty International and other human rights groups.
It even cost P.J. Crowley his job as State Department spokesman after he said in March 2011 that the conditions of the soldier's detention were "ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid."
Crowley resigned just days later amid reports that the Obama administration was furious over his suggestion that Manning was being treated badly.
President Barack Obama publicly defended the conditions of the soldier's detention, telling reporters that he had been assured by the Pentagon that the conditions were appropriate and met basic standards.
Even so, the outcry grew, with academics, medical professionals and others weighing in as Manning's attorney filed motions to move the soldier from the Marine Corps prison at Quantico.
After 11 months in solitary confinement, Manning was transferred to Fort Leavenworth. He has since been moved to a jail at Fort Meade.
During closing statements last week, attorneys on both sides pointed to a picture of a smiling Manning.
Each had their own take on the man in the cross-dressing image that was taken in 2010 while he was on leave -- just weeks before his arrest.
"This is a gleeful, grinning Pfc. Manning," who had little regard for his allegiance to the United States, Fein told the court.
But Coombs told the judge that picture showed a situation in which Manning could "be himself."
The only question now is what portrait of Manning the judge will offer with a verdict.