Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 12:34 AM

  • Share:
           
  • Comments (0)
  • Print

Another hearing in Afghanistan rampage case

Robert Bales, the American soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians during a 2012 rampage, faces another preliminary hearing Tuesday.

Associated Press

Most Popular Comments
Hide / Show comments
No comments have been posted to this article.
Start the conversation >

advertising

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. —

Robert Bales, the American soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians during a 2012 rampage, faces another preliminary hearing Tuesday.

Defense lawyers for Robert Bales and military prosecutors were convening at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, south of Seattle.

Bales is to be court-martialed on premeditated murder and other charges in the attack on two villages in southern Afghanistan. The Ohio native and father of two is accused of slaying mostly women and children during pre-dawn raids on March 11, 2012.

Bales, 39, has not entered a plea. The Army is seeking the death penalty. The U.S. military has not executed anyone since 1961.

The slayings last year drew such angry protests that the U.S. temporarily halted combat operations in Afghanistan, and it was three weeks before American investigators could reach the crime scenes.

Bales' defense team has said the government's case is incomplete, and outside experts believe a key issue going forward will be to determine if Bales suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. Bales served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

During a previous preliminary hearing, prosecutors built a strong eyewitness case against the veteran soldier, with troops recounting how they saw Bales return to the base alone, covered in blood. One soldier testified that Bales woke him up in the middle of the night, saying he had just shot people at one village and that he was heading out again to attack another. The soldier said he didn't believe Bales and went back to sleep.

Afghan witnesses questioned via a video link from a forward operating base near Kandahar City described the horror of that night. A teenage boy recalled how the gunman kept firing as youths scrambled, yelling: "We are children! We are children!"

An Army criminal investigations command special agent testified earlier that Bales tested positive for steroids three days after the killings, and other soldiers testified that Bales had been drinking the evening of the massacre.

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Career Center Blog

Career Center Blog

Bad email habits to break today


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►