Staff Sgt. Robert Bales’ own “stomach-churning” words prove he knew what he was doing when he massacred 16 Afghan villagers during pre-dawn raids last year, a prosecutor told jurors Friday during closing arguments in the sentencing hearing.
The sentencing hearing for the U.S. soldier who killed 16 Afghan civilians in rogue raids on two villages last year has resumed with testimony from a villager whose cousin lost 11 relatives in the attack.
An Afghan farmer shot during a massacre in Kandahar Province last year took the witness stand Tuesday against the U.S. soldier who attacked his village, cursing him before breaking down and pleading with the prosecutor not to ask him any more questions.
Afghan villagers will have a chance to sit face-to-face with Staff Sgt. Robert Bales for the first time since he stormed their mud-walled compounds in pre-dawn darkness and slaughtered 16 people, most of them women and children.
As Army officials weigh whether a case against a staff sergeant accused of killing 16 Afghan villagers in a pre-dawn rampage will proceed to a court-martial, Robert Bales’ defense team says the government’s case is incomplete.
Attorneys will wrap up a preliminary hearing against Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who is accused of massacring 16 Afghan villagers during a pre-dawn rampage earlier this year.
Through a video monitor in a military courtroom near Seattle, Staff Sgt. Robert Bales saw young Afghan girls smile beneath bright head coverings before they described the bloodbath he’s accused of committing.
Stories of the massacre came, one by one, over a live video link from Afghanistan into a military courtroom outside Seattle: torched bodies, a son finding his wounded father, boys cowering behind a curtain while others screamed “We are children! We are children!”