World News

US Soldier Pleads Guilty to Afghan Massacre

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.

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.

Feature Story

A departure board at the Philadelphia International Airport shows that US Airways Flight 796 to Tel Aviv has been canceled, July 22, 2014.

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More