Army staff sergeant Robert Bales will plead guilty next week to murdering 16 Afghan villagers in early morning raids last year. The plea allows the soldier from western Washington’s Joint-Base Lewis McCord to avoid the death penalty. John Henry Browne, an attorney for Bales, says his client will detail his own version of the crimes as part of the plea deal.
“It’s just been a long, long negotiating process. It’s gone on for the last five months? Four months?” says Brown.
Under military rules, the judge overseeing the case must approve a plea deal. Browne says the commanding general has already consented to the agreement. In September, the sentencing phase of the military proceedings will determine whether Bales will be sentenced to life with or without a chance of parole.
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