Soldier Accused In Afghan Shooting Rampage To Plead Guilty | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Soldier Accused In Afghan Shooting Rampage To Plead Guilty

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, charged with the murder of 16 Afghan villagers in one of the worst atrocities of the American-led war in that country, will plead guilty as part of a deal to avoid the death penalty, his attorney told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Bales' attorney, John Henry Browne, says his client was "crazed" and "broken" in March 2012 when he entered a village in southern Kandahar province and opened fire on sleeping Afghan civilians. He said Bales would plead guilty next week.

The AP writes:

"The Army had been trying to have Bales executed, and Afghan villagers have demanded it. In interviews with the AP in Kandahar last month, relatives of the victims became outraged at the notion Bales might escape the death penalty.

...

Any plea deal must be approved by the judge as well as the commanding general at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, where Bales is being held. A plea hearing is set for June 5, said Lt. Col. Gary Dangerfield, an Army spokesman. He said he could not immediately provide other details."

Army prosecutors say Bales, who had served four combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, acted alone and that he returned from his base to the village to twice on the night of the shootings to continue his killing spree.

The rampage marked the worst mass killing by a U.S. soldier acting alone since the Vietnam War.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Comedian George Carlin Is National Portrait Gallery's Newest Face

NPR's Audie Cornish talks to Kelly Carlin, the daughter of the late comedian George Carlin, about the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery's unveiling of her father's portrait Friday.
NPR

Guess What Makes The Cut As A 'Smart Snack' In Schools? Hot Cheetos

Frito-Lay has reformulated Flamin' Hot Cheetos to meet new federal nutrition standards for school snacks. That's been a big hit with school kids, but the rules' creators say the snack is still junk.
NPR

Nigerian President Faces Tough Reelection Campaign

Nigerians head to the polls Saturday to vote for their new president. The incumbent Goodluck Jonathan faces former military leader, Muhammadu Buhari, who says he's tough on security and corruption.
NPR

App That Aims To Make Books 'Squeaky Clean' Draws Ire From Edited Writers

Clean Reader — an app designed to find, block and replace profanity in books — has drawn considerable criticism from authors. This week, makers of the app announced they would no longer sell e-books.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.