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Army To Seek Death Penalty Against Staff Sgt. Robert Bales

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales
DVIDS
Staff Sgt. Robert Bales

The Associated Press is reporting the U.S. Army will seek the death penalty against Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who's accused of murdering 16 Afghan villagers in a bloody massacre.

The military gave Bales, 39, a pretrial hearing last month which resulted into today's announcement that Bales would face court-martial.

According to the A.P.:

Prosecutors said Bales left his remote base in southern Afghanistan early on March 11, attacked one village, returned to the base, and then slipped away again to attack another nearby compound. Sixteen people were killed, nine of them children.

Bales's attorney, John Henry Browne, has suggested to CNN that his client may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder:

"Nothing really justifies killing women and children in a noncombat situation. But there may be explanations if that's true."

The military has not yet set a date for the court-martial. The trial is slated to be held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state.