Army prosecutors have outlined their case against Staff Sgt. Robert Bales. He’s the Washington soldier accused of murdering 16 Afghan civilians in two villages. At a pretrial hearing Monday the prosecution played nighttime surveillance video.
The video was taken from a high-tech balloon with a camera attached. It shows a lone figure walking, then running, back to a U.S. Army outpost in southern Afghanistan. Prosecutors say the person in the video is Sgt. Bales returning from killing Afghan villagers – mostly women and children - and burning some of their bodies.
Bales watched the video intently as it played in the courtroom. His wife sat nearby. In testimony, a fellow soldier says Bales arrived back at the outpost armed with several weapons covered in blood and wearing some sort of cape around his neck.
On cross-examination, defense attorneys questioned the credibility of that key witness. They also established that Bales had used alcohol and shown signs of anger in the days leading up to the killings.
The purpose of this pretrial hearing is to determine whether Bales will face a full court martial, and whether the case is worthy of the death penalty.
Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network