Robert Bales

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US Soldier Gets Life Without Parole in Massacre

Robert Bales killed 16 Afghan villagers

(Newser) - The second of two high-profile military trials is in the books: A military jury has sentenced a US soldier who massacred 16 Afghan civilians last year to life in prison without a chance of parole. The decision came today in the case against Staff Sgt. Robert Bales , who pleaded guilty... More »

US Soldier: No 'Good Reason' Why I Killed Afghan Villagers

Robert Bales pleads guilty to avoid death penalty

(Newser) - As expected , the American soldier charged with killing 16 Afghan civilians during a nighttime massacre on two villages last year has pleaded guilty to avoid the death penalty. Staff Sgt. Robert Bales entered the plea today in a military courtroom near Seattle. Bales, 39, said he left the remote... More »

Afghan Massacre Suspect to Plead Guilty, Avoid Death

Victims' relatives are irate Robert Bales won't face execution

(Newser) - Staff Sgt. Robert Bales will plead guilty to the murder of 16 Afghan villagers, his lawyer tells CNN , in a move to dodge the death penalty. Lawyer John Henry Browne says military prosecutors have approved the plea, but a rep for Joint Base Lewis-McChord wouldn't say whether the matter... More »

Afghan Massacre Suspect Had Brain Injury: Lawyer

Lawyers ready 'mental health defense' for Robert Bales

(Newser) - Before allegedly launching a shooting spree against Afghan villagers, US Staff Sgt. Robert Bales was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, his lawyer said at a hearing yesterday. Bales' defense team said it was readying a "mental health defense" in the massacre case; lawyer John Henry... More »

Soldier in Afghan Massacre to Face Death Penalty

Army will seek death for Robert Bales, it announced today

(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... More »

Army Seeks Death Penalty for Bales

But defense cites toxic mix of drugs, alcohol in stressful environment

(Newser) - Military prosecutors in the murder trial of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales are calling for the death penalty, saying that his "heinous, brutal, methodical, despicable” murders of 16 Afghan civilians in a shooting rampage, especially the nine children who died , merit the ultimate punishment, reports the New York Times . But... More »

Afghan Villagers Pleaded to Bales: 'We Are Children'

Soldier's hearing in massacre under way in Washington state

(Newser) - Residents of the Afghan village Robert Bales stands accused of shooting up in a blood-soaked rampage that killed 16 took their turn on the witness stand last night as part of the Army sergeant's military hearing, reports the AP , and the details were as graphic as they were awful.... More »

Bales Thought He 'Was Doing Right' in Afghan Massacre

Was surprised when told to drop weapons

(Newser) - The US soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians in March was baffled when fellow soldiers told him to relinquish his weapons: Robert Bales told a fellow soldier "I thought I was doing the right thing," that soldier told the court at a hearing yesterday. Bales had been... More »

Hearing Begins for Soldier Accused in Afghan Massacre

Robert Bales appeared in court today

(Newser) - Robert Bales , the US soldier accused of slipping away from his outpost and slaughtering 16 Afghan civilians in March, made his first appearance in a military courtroom today for the beginning of his preliminary hearing, after which an investigative officer will recommend whether the case should proceed to a... More »

Angry Afghan Prober Barred From Questioning Bales

'I just wanted to ask him why he did it,' says official

(Newser) - An Afghan investigative chief is frustrated he was not allowed to question the US serviceman charged in the shooting rampage that left 17 Afghan men, women, and children dead. General Sher Mohammed Karimi said he was never allowed to speak to Staff Sergeant Robert Bales before he was whisked off... More »

Afghan Massacre Survivor: I Saw Up to 20 Soldiers

First Western journalist visits Afghan village where 17 died

(Newser) - Australia's Yalda Hakim has become the first Western journalist to interview survivors of the massacre that killed 17 Afghan civilians, and their account of events is very different from the US military's. Military officials say that Robert Bales acted alone, but some survivors spoke of seeing up to... More »

Lawyer: Bales Remembers Only Smell of Bodies

...but he told soldier he shot people: official

(Newser) - When Robert Bales returned to base after allegedly killing 17 Afghan civilians, he had only a foggy memory of what just happened—a faint smell of gunfire and human bodies, and nothing else. Or at least, that's what he told lawyer John Henry Browne. Browne, who met Bales for... More »

Risky Malaria Drug: a Factor in Afghan Massacre?

US military orders emergency review of mefloquine use

(Newser) - In the wake of the shootings of 17 civilians in Afghanistan, the US military is scrambling to limit the use of an anti-malaria drug that can have serious side effects—including psychotic behavior. Mefloquine, also called Lariam, has already been implicated in a number of suicides and homicides. In 2009,... More »

Robert Bales' Wife: I Don't Think He Killed Them

Karilyn Bales tells Matt Lauer, 'This is not what it appears to be'

(Newser) - When Karilyn Bales first heard that the US soldier accused of killing 17 Afghan civilians was a 38-year-old staff sergeant, it occurred to her that "I don't think there are very many of those," she told Matt Lauer on Today this morning, and she "prayed and... More »

Afghan Massacre's 17th Victim: Fetus

US had bumped toll from 16 dead

(Newser) - The US military raised the death toll in the March 11 massacre of Afghan villagers from 16 to 17 last week; now Afghan police explain why. The 17th victim was an unborn baby, an officer tells the New York Times : "The Americans are right and one of the females... More »

US Pays $50K Per Death in Afghan Rampage

US also pays $11K per wounded person, but US officials have no comment

(Newser) - The United States has paid almost $50,000 in compensation for each Afghan killed in the shooting spree attributed to a US soldier in southern Afghanistan, an Afghan official and a community elder said today. The families of the dead received the money yesterday at the governor's office, said... More »

US Soldier to Be Charged With 17 Counts of Murder

Robert Bales accused in Afghanistan massacre

(Newser) - Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales will be charged with 17 counts of murder, assault, and a string of other offenses in the massacre of Afghan villagers as they slept, a US official said. The charges signed against Bales include six counts of attempted murder and six counts of aggravated assault... More »

Afghan Massacre Death Toll Now 17

No details given on why it was raised

(Newser) - The death toll in the March 11 massacre of Afghan villagers is now 17, US defense officials say. They today confirmed that investigators have increased the number of dead from the widely reported 16, but they were unable to immediately explain the change. There was initial confusion about the number... More »

Robert Bales' Lawyer: US Has No Proof

John Henry Browne says there's no 'forensic evidence, no confession'

(Newser) - The case of Robert Bales, the US soldier accused of massacring 16 Afghan civilians in the middle of the night, might seem like an open-and-shut case. Not so fast, says Bales' lawyer. Having huddled with Bales for a total of 11 hours in two meetings this week, John Henry Browne... More »

Lawyer: Bales Barely Recalls Massacre Night

Plus: He was accused of securities fraud in pre-Army career

(Newser) - US Staff Sergeant Robert Bales has gaps in his memory of the night he's accused of killing 16 Afghan villagers, his lawyer says. "He has an early memory of that evening, and he has a later memory, but he doesn't have memory of the evening in between,... More »

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