Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 4:01 pm
The top forces commander at Washington’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord has decided to seek the death penalty against Staff Sgt. Robert Bales. He’s the 39-year old soldier accused of murdering 16 Afghan civilians earlier this year.
Bales is accused of conducting two predawn raids on villages in southern Afghanistan. The victims were mostly women and children and the Army says some of the bodies were burned. Prosecutors had asked for a death penalty trial and top commanders at Lewis-McChord agreed.
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Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 3:56 pm
The U.S. Army announced Wednesday that Staff Sgt. Robert Bales will face a general court-martial on 16 counts of premeditated murder and other charges. If convicted, the maximum penalty is death. The decision follows a pretrial hearing last month.
An attorney for Bales says she's "disappointed" by the Army's decision to seek the death penalty against the Washington-based soldier accused of massacring Afghan villagers in March.
Pre-trial hearings continue this evening at Joint Base Lewis-McChord for Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales. He’s accused of massacring 16 civilians in Afghanistan, including nine children. Prosecutors say he left his base last March and went on an overnight five-hour killing spree.
The hearings will determine whether the case will advance to court-martial, where the government has said it plans to seek the death penalty. KUOW’s Sara Lerner spoke with Patricia Murphy, who’s covering the hearings.
Pretrial hearings for Staff Sergeant Robert Bales continue tonight when Afghan villagers and soldiers are expected to testify by video. The hearings are expected to run into the early morning hours US time.