Army Moves for Death Penalty in Case Against Soldier

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JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. — A military prosecutor on Tuesday said the evidence against Staff Sgt. Robert Bales was so damning that the death penalty would be sought, according to the New York Times.

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, 38, is accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians in March. Prosecutors say he left his U.S. combat post on foot in the predawn hours of March 11 and gunned down Afghans in their homes. Nine of the victims were children.

After last week’s pre-trial inquiry proceedings in Washington, the U.S. military referred the case of Staff Sgt. Bales to a court-martial that would be authorized to consider the death penalty.

Sgt. Bales was held temporarily at Fort Leavenworth and met his legal team there led by attorney, John Henry Browne, the same man who represented the Barefoot Bandit.

Browne said he believes his client suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, and says Bales should have never returned to combat after being injured twice during three tours in Iraq.

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