Robert Bales

The case of Sgt. Robert Bales – sentenced Friday to life in prison without parole - will be remembered in the villages of southern Afghanistan.

But according to a military justice expert at Yale Law School, this war crime won’t go down in the history books as others - like the My Lai massacre in Vietnam - have.

Eugene Fidell teaches the My Lai massacre in his military justice class at Yale Law. In March of 1968, a rogue company of soldiers killed hundreds of unarmed civilians – including women and children.

A jury of six soldiers is hearing graphic testimony Tuesday afternoon at the start of the sentencing phase of the trial of a U.S. soldier who massacred Afghan villagers. The jury will decide whether Staff Sgt. Robert Bales deserves life in prison with or without the chance of parole.

High Desert Warrior

A judge has accepted the guilty plea of a a soldier accused of murdering 16 Afghan civilians. The plea spares the life of the soldier based at Joint Base Lewis McChord. He still faces trial to determine if he'll ever be eligible for parole.

Staff Sgt. Bales To Plead Guilty

May 29, 2013
High Desert Warrior / Northwest News Network

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.

Staff Sergeant Robert Bales' arraignment in a military court room south of Tacoma marked the start of a court martial that could potentially end in a death sentence.

Austin Jenkins

A pretrial hearing for Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales has concluded at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Bales is the soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians earlier this year – most of them young children. The defense is focused on Bales’ state of mind.

Afghan Survivors And Witnesses Testify At Army Hearing

Nov 12, 2012
Photo Credit: Maj. Brent Clemmer

Witnesses and survivors recounted a horrific scene following a massacre at two villages in Kandahar Province that killed 16 civilians and wounded 6. They testified via live video from Afghanistan during a pretrial hearing for Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales at Joint Base Lewis McChord.

Maj. Brent Clemmer

Friday is the fourth day of pretrial hearings for U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales. Bales is accused of massacring 16 Afghan civilians, mostly women and children, in March. The proceedings at Joint Base Lewis-McChord are also known as an Article 32 hearing. They will determine whether the case will advance to court-martial, where the government has stated it plans to seek the death penalty.

Photo courtesy of Maj. Brent Clemmer

Army prosecutors say Staff Sgt. Robert Bales murdered 16 Afghan civilians in two villages this past March in an act of “sheer brutality.” That was the opening argument at a pretrial hearing Monday to determine if Bales will face a full court martial and possibly the death penalty. Correspondent Austin Jenkins was in court at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Prosecutors have made opening arguments in a hearing for the Washington soldier accused of massacring 16 Afghan villagers earlier this year. The pretrial hearing for Staff Sgt. Robert Bales is expected to last several days.