Soldier in Afghan Massacre to Face Death Penalty
Army will seek death for Robert Bales, it announced today
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 19, 2012 1:03 PM CST
In this Aug. 23, 2011 file photo, Staff Sgt. Robert Bales participates in an exercise at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif.   (AP Photo/DVIDS, Spc. Ryan Hallock, File)

(Newser) – The US Army said today it will seek the death penalty against the soldier accused of massacring 16 Afghan villagers, including nine children, during pre-dawn raids in March. The announcement followed a pretrial hearing last month for Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, 39, who faces premeditated murder and other charges in the attack on two villages in southern Afghanistan. No date has been set for his court martial, which will be held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, south of Seattle.

Yesterday, Bales' civilian lawyer told the AP that he met with Army officials last week to argue that Bales should not face the death penalty, given that Bales was serving his fourth deployment in a war zone. Bales' defense team has said the government's case is incomplete and outside experts have said a key issue going forward will be to determine whether Bales, who served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. Military prosecutors had called for the death penalty during a pretrial hearing last month.

Copyright 2016 Newser, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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Showing 3 of 49 comments
Dec 20, 2012 9:32 AM CST
bales is a hero he killed scum and kids about to become soliders and killers themselves! savages! what about fort hood. ther is no doubt hasan killed our guys in the name of islam! he did it no one else!!!! why is he still around? oh i know caliph barak hussein obama has a good job for him in obamastan!!!!!!
Dec 20, 2012 6:15 AM CST
We are at war to kill Islamists so why are we persecuting this hero.
Dec 19, 2012 11:12 PM CST
The pro-death conservatives are applauding the use of the death penalty, always and everywhere.