Seventeen counts of murder. Six counts of assault and attempted murder. Those are the charges filed Friday against 38 year old Staff Sgt. Robert Bales. He’s the Washington-based soldier accused of killing 9 Afghan children and 8 adults in a massacre earlier this month. If convicted, he could face the death penalty. Correspondent Austin Jenkins explains the next step is an Article 32 hearing.
Austin Jenkins: “That’s basically the military equivalent of a pre-trial hearing in civilian court. And that’s where evidence will be introduced and ultimately the judge – who’s actually an investigating officer – will make a recommendation as to whether there’s enough evidence to hold him over for a full trial or court martial to use the military term.”
An Army spokesman says it has not been determined if the Article 32 hearing will happen at Lewis-McChord or at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. That’s where Bales is currently being held. His defense team wants the proceedings moved to Lewis-McChord. Bales’ wife and children currently live on the base and the attorneys are located in Seattle.
Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network