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Robert Bales

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August 21, 2013 | By Rick Rojas, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. -- A stream of prosecution witnesses spoke Wednesday of families torn apart, of children left with physical and emotional scars and of lasting damage to the military's relationship with Afghan civilians because of the rampage U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales pleaded guilty to perpetrating. But as the sentencing hearing continued, defense attorney John Henry Browne wanted to simply introduce the jury to "Bobby. " Bales' brother and a longtime family friend talked about "Good Time Bobby," the fun-loving guy from a blue-collar family in Norwood, Ohio.
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NATIONAL
August 23, 2013 | By Rick Rojas
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. -- A military jury Friday sentenced Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who pleaded guilty to killing 16 Afghan civilians, to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Bales, 40, entered the guilty plea last June in a deal to avoid the death penalty. During his court-martial here Thursday, Bales had apologized for his actions but did not offer an explanation for the violence. He described the killings as an “act of cowardice, behind a mask of fear, bulls -- and bravado.” “I'm truly, truly sorry to those people whose families got taken away,” the father of two said.
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NATIONAL
August 20, 2013 | By Rick Rojas
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. - The 5-year-old boy was dwarfed by the witness stand and his voice barely registered on the microphone as he told a military jury of the nightmares he continues to have after an American soldier went on a rampage through his Afghan village, killing his father. "I'm always fearful," the boy, Khan, said through an interpreter. "What did I do wrong against Sgt. Bales that he shot my father?" On Tuesday, as the sentencing phase began in the court-martial of Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, prosecutors not only described in graphic detail the carnage of the early morning attack last year, but also set out to portray the lasting ramifications for the victims' families more than a year later.
NATIONAL
August 23, 2013 | By Rick Rojas
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. - A military jury Friday sentenced Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who pleaded guilty to killing 16 Afghan civilians, to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Bales, 40, entered the guilty plea in June in a deal to avoid the death penalty. During his court-martial sentencing hearing here Thursday, Bales had apologized for his actions. He described the killings as an "act of cowardice, behind a mask of fear. " The six-member military jury deliberated less than two hours Friday morning after closing arguments.
NATIONAL
August 23, 2013 | By Rick Rojas
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. - A military jury Friday sentenced Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who pleaded guilty to killing 16 Afghan civilians, to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Bales, 40, entered the guilty plea in June in a deal to avoid the death penalty. During his court-martial sentencing hearing here Thursday, Bales had apologized for his actions. He described the killings as an "act of cowardice, behind a mask of fear. " The six-member military jury deliberated less than two hours Friday morning after closing arguments.
NATIONAL
November 7, 2012 | By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. - Military prosecutors Wednesday painted a picture of increasing frustration for Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales - passed over for promotion at work, unhappy with his family - in the weeks before he allegedly killed 16 civilians in a middle-of-the-night shooting rampage in southern Afghanistan. Questioning one of Bales' closest Army friends, 1st Sgt. Vernon Bigham, prosecutor Lt. Col. Joseph Morse repeatedly asked about Bales' expressions of unhappiness about much of his life, including the strict rules of engagement that prevented his unit from being "aggressive" with Afghans and his strong belief that he should have been promoted to sergeant first class just before the March 11 killings.
NATIONAL
August 23, 2013 | By Rick Rojas
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. -- A military jury Friday sentenced Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who pleaded guilty to killing 16 Afghan civilians, to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Bales, 40, entered the guilty plea last June in a deal to avoid the death penalty. During his court-martial here Thursday, Bales had apologized for his actions but did not offer an explanation for the violence. He described the killings as an “act of cowardice, behind a mask of fear, bulls -- and bravado.” “I'm truly, truly sorry to those people whose families got taken away,” the father of two said.
NATIONAL
June 5, 2013 | By Matt Pearce
The U.S. Army staff sergeant accused of slaughtering 16 Afghan villagers in 2012 pleaded guilty to the massacre Wednesday. Robert Bales, 39, accepted a plea deal that would spare him from the death penalty for the overnight attacks on two villages in southern Afghanistan. As part of the deal, Bales recounted the night of the attack for the first time publicly, with some prodding from the military judge heading his tribunal at Joint Base Lewis-McChord outside Seattle. Bales admitted shooting the villagers and burning their bodies but said he didn't remember setting them on fire.
NATIONAL
March 13, 2013 | By Kim Murphy and Matt Pearce
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales , accused of killing 16 villagers and wounding six more in Afghanistan , will undergo a government sanity review this weekend to determine his mental state, his attorneys said. Bales faces a military court-martial with the possibility of receiving the death penalty. His attorneys had previously opposed a sanity review, saying that the process was too favorable to military prosecutors, who also have opposed Bales' hopes for an insanity plea.
NATIONAL
May 29, 2013 | By Kim Murphy
SEATTLE - Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales has agreed to plead guilty to the killing of 16 Afghan civilians who were shot to death in their homes outside a U.S. Army outpost in a violent rampage his lawyers have said was brought on by stress fueled with alcohol and drugs. Bales, 39, will enter the plea June 5 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state as part of an agreement in which the government will not seek the death penalty, according to his lawyer, John Henry Browne. "I didn't think we'd be getting to this point, but if they take the death penalty off the table, we're able to work it out," Browne said in an interview.
NATIONAL
August 21, 2013 | By Rick Rojas, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. -- A stream of prosecution witnesses spoke Wednesday of families torn apart, of children left with physical and emotional scars and of lasting damage to the military's relationship with Afghan civilians because of the rampage U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales pleaded guilty to perpetrating. But as the sentencing hearing continued, defense attorney John Henry Browne wanted to simply introduce the jury to "Bobby. " Bales' brother and a longtime family friend talked about "Good Time Bobby," the fun-loving guy from a blue-collar family in Norwood, Ohio.
NATIONAL
August 20, 2013 | By Rick Rojas
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. - The 5-year-old boy was dwarfed by the witness stand and his voice barely registered on the microphone as he told a military jury of the nightmares he continues to have after an American soldier went on a rampage through his Afghan village, killing his father. "I'm always fearful," the boy, Khan, said through an interpreter. "What did I do wrong against Sgt. Bales that he shot my father?" On Tuesday, as the sentencing phase began in the court-martial of Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, prosecutors not only described in graphic detail the carnage of the early morning attack last year, but also set out to portray the lasting ramifications for the victims' families more than a year later.
NATIONAL
June 5, 2013 | By Matt Pearce
The U.S. Army staff sergeant accused of slaughtering 16 Afghan villagers in 2012 pleaded guilty to the massacre Wednesday. Robert Bales, 39, accepted a plea deal that would spare him from the death penalty for the overnight attacks on two villages in southern Afghanistan. As part of the deal, Bales recounted the night of the attack for the first time publicly, with some prodding from the military judge heading his tribunal at Joint Base Lewis-McChord outside Seattle. Bales admitted shooting the villagers and burning their bodies but said he didn't remember setting them on fire.
NATIONAL
June 5, 2013 | By Matt Pearce
The U.S. Army staff sergeant accused of slaughtering 16 Afghan civilians in two villages pleaded guilty Wednesday in a move expected to spare him from the death penalty. And when a military judge asked Robert Bales, 39, why he slaughtered the men, women and children outside Camp Belambay in southern Afghanistan on March 11, 2012, Bales gave his first and only public explanation for the attack. "Sir, as far as why: I've asked that question a million times since then," said Bales, according to the Associated Press.
NATIONAL
May 29, 2013 | By Kim Murphy
SEATTLE - Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales has agreed to plead guilty to the killing of 16 Afghan civilians who were shot to death in their homes outside a U.S. Army outpost in a violent rampage his lawyers have said was brought on by stress fueled with alcohol and drugs. Bales, 39, will enter the plea June 5 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state as part of an agreement in which the government will not seek the death penalty, according to his lawyer, John Henry Browne. "I didn't think we'd be getting to this point, but if they take the death penalty off the table, we're able to work it out," Browne said in an interview.
NATIONAL
March 13, 2013 | By Kim Murphy and Matt Pearce
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales , accused of killing 16 villagers and wounding six more in Afghanistan , will undergo a government sanity review this weekend to determine his mental state, his attorneys said. Bales faces a military court-martial with the possibility of receiving the death penalty. His attorneys had previously opposed a sanity review, saying that the process was too favorable to military prosecutors, who also have opposed Bales' hopes for an insanity plea.
NATIONAL
June 5, 2013 | By Matt Pearce
The U.S. Army staff sergeant accused of slaughtering 16 Afghan civilians in two villages pleaded guilty Wednesday in a move expected to spare him from the death penalty. And when a military judge asked Robert Bales, 39, why he slaughtered the men, women and children outside Camp Belambay in southern Afghanistan on March 11, 2012, Bales gave his first and only public explanation for the attack. "Sir, as far as why: I've asked that question a million times since then," said Bales, according to the Associated Press.
NATIONAL
March 21, 2012 | By Richard A. Serrano
Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, arrested this month on suspicion of killing 16 Afghan civilians, nine of them children, was prosecuted 10 years ago for assaulting a security guard at a Tacoma, Wash., casino, according to recently obtained court records. The charges, filed in local court there, were dismissed after Bales attended 20 hours of anger management courses. Bales' Seattle-based lawyer in the Afghanistan case, John Henry Browne, has said that the assault -- which occurred before Bales was married -- arose out of a disagreement with a woman.
NATIONAL
December 19, 2012 | By Kim Murphy
SEATTLE -- The commanders at Joint Base Lewis-McChord have decided to refer the case against Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales for a general court-martial on charges that he murdered 16 civilians in a late-night shooting rampage outside a remote Army outpost in southern Afghanistan. Army officials also announced they would seek the death penalty against Bales, a veteran of four combat deployments who is also charged with wounding six other civilians after a night of drinking on top of steroid use at what defense lawyers say was a dysfunctional special operations outpost.
NATIONAL
November 14, 2012 | By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times
JOINT BASE LEWIS MCCHORD, Wash. - The case against U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales appeared at first to be horribly simple: Days after a bomb blew off the leg of a friend in southern Afghanistan, the 39-year-old combat veteran picked up his rifle, a pistol and a grenade launcher, walked to two villages and allegedly conducted a one-man campaign of vengeance, killing 16 civilians and wounding six more. But by the time a weeklong hearing wound up Tuesday in a military courtroom, one of the Army's highest-profile war crimes from Afghanistan raised almost as many questions as it answered.
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