Hearing begins for JBLM soldier accused in Afghanistan massacre

Hearing begins for JBLM soldier accused in Afghanistan massacre

Credit: Spc. Ryan Hallock / 28th Public Affairs Detachment

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales

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by AP

KREM.com

Posted on November 5, 2012 at 6:25 AM

SEATTLE (AP) -- The U.S. soldier accused of carrying out one of the worst atrocities of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars is due to appear in a military courtroom Monday, where prosecutors will for the first time lay out their case.

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales is accused in the deaths of 16 people, including children, during a predawn raid on two villages in the Taliban's heartland.

Officials allege that Bales slipped away from a remote outpost in southern Afghanistan early on March 11 with an M-4 rifle outfitted with a grenade launcher to attack two villages.

Monday marks the start of a preliminary hearing, called an Article 32 hearing, before an investigative officer charged with recommending whether Bales' case should proceed to a court-martial.

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