Closing Arguments Tuesday in Bales Preliminary Hearing

Nov 13, 2012

Closing arguments are scheduled Tuesday in the preliminary hearing for a US Army soldier accused of murdering 16 Afghan civilians and wounding six others. The hearing is to determine whether the case advances to Court Martial. KUOW's Patricia Murphy Reports

Prosecutors say Staff Sergeant Robert Bales slipped away from his base in Kandahar Province to commit the murders. Testimony from Afghanistan was transmitted via live video feed to a courtroom at Joint Base Lewis McChord.

The hearings were held overnight to accommodate the time change in Afghanistan.

Witnesses and survivors from the two villages involved in the massacre recounted a horrific scene that prosecutors say played out over five hours. The dead included nine children.

Attorneys for Bales say he has post-traumatic stress disorder and suffered a concussive head injury while serving in Iraq. They’ve also tried to make the most of contradictory statements made by witnesses that suggest Bales was not alone the night of the murders.

Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio