The villagers traveled nearly 7,000 miles to learn the fate of the American soldier who gunned down their children, siblings and parents, who set their lifeless bodies afire with a kerosene lantern. And when the news came, it came in a simple gesture: a thumb’s up from their interpreter
The Army staff sergeant charged with slaughtering 16 villagers during one of the worst atrocities of the Afghanistan war has agreed to plead guilty in a deal to avoid the death penalty, his attorney told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Staff Sgt. Robert Bales made a mid-massacre confession, asked for help bleaching his blood-stained clothing and deliberately destroyed his laptop computer, fellow soldiers have testified — statements that prosecutors say show he knew what he was doing the night 16 civilians were slaughtered in two villages in southern Afghanistan.
A pretrial hearing for the soldier accused of an Afghan killing spree has been set for Nov. 5 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, with villagers expected to testify by video from Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan.
The Army has scheduled a preliminary court hearing in September for the JBLM soldier accused of slaughtering 16 civilians during a pre-dawn rampage on two Afghan villages in March. He’s being held in the military prison at Fort Leavenworth, KS.
The Army has dropped a murder charge, but added others, including steroid use, against a JBLM soldier accused in a deadly shooting rampage in Afghanistan.
John Henry Browne told The Associated Press that members of the defense team in Afghanistan were told they would have access to witnesses at a hospital, but later discovered the people had been released.
The wife of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales defended her husband in an interview with Matt Lauer for NBC’s “Today” show, set to air Monday.
It is still not known if the soldier accused of killing 17 Afghans was ever diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder — but even if he had been, that alone would not have prevented him from being sent back to war.
The U.S. suspect in the slaughter of 16 villagers in Afghanistan has a trail of shaky financial dealings — from working in penny-stock boiler rooms that drew numerous client complaints, to an unpaid $1.5 million fraud judgment, to a failed investment partnership with a former high school football teammate, records show. His Lake Tapps, WA home was put up for sale earlier this month.