News / USA

US Soldier Pleads Guilty to Afghan Massacre

Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales (US Defense Department photo)
Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales (US Defense Department photo)
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
The U.S. soldier charged with deliberately killing 16 civilians in Afghanistan last year has pleaded guilty in order to avoid the death penalty.

At a hearing in a military courtroom in the northwestern U.S. state of Washington on Wednesday, Army Sergeant Robert Bales entered his plea to 16 counts of premeditated murder.  A short while later, a military judge accepted that plea agreement.

Bales' sentencing hearing, expected in August, will determine if he ever will be eligible for parole.

Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales (3rd L)is seen in a courtroom sketch at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, Jan. 17, 2013.Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales (3rd L)is seen in a courtroom sketch at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, Jan. 17, 2013.
x
Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales (3rd L)is seen in a courtroom sketch at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, Jan. 17, 2013.
Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales (3rd L)is seen in a courtroom sketch at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, Jan. 17, 2013.
The former staff sergeant was charged in March 2012 with attacks on two villages near a remote military base in southern Afghanistan.  Most of the victims were women and children, and investigators said some of the bodies were burned.

Investigators said the assault was revenge for a bombing that seriously wounded another soldier.

Defense lawyers said Bales was on his fourth combat tour in Afghanistan and was suffering post-traumatic stress and the effects of a concussion at the time of the killings.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Haron from: Afghanistan
June 08, 2013 12:54 PM
I think it is not good to send him to jail. he is not blame. in a country that 40% are in extremists in South and East. it must be happen. exactly the lawyers are uneducated and undeveloped from situations of Afghanistan. beside he was full of stress from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I had better to sent him to Northern of Afghanistan rather than South. because there is more quiet (peaceful) than other sides of Afghanistan. as today we see in East that gunman killed three US soldiers. in this case what will the lawyers get decide on James? he must be free as soon as the situation narrate.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid