Pre-Trial Hearing Next For Sgt. Bales

Mar 23, 2012

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