Prosecutor: US Soldier Had Blood of Victims on Him

By: AP Email
By: AP Email
A preliminary hearing is under way for the U.S. soldier accused of carrying out one of the worst atrocities of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

FILE - In this Aug. 23, 2011, file photo, Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System photo, Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, 1st platoon sergeant, Blackhorse Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division participates in an exercise at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif. (AP Photo/DVIDS, Spc. Ryan Hallock, File)

JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. (AP) - Military prosecutors say the soldier accused of killing 16 villagers in a nighttime rampage in Afghanistan returned to his base with the blood of his victims on his rifle, belt, shirt and pants.

Prosecutor Lt. Col. Jay Morse says Staff Sgt. Robert Bales was incredulous when fellow U.S. soldiers drew their weapons on him when he returned to Camp Belambay in southern Afghanistan last March.

Morse says Bales turned to one sergeant at the scene and said: "Mac, if you rat me out..."

Bales has been charged with 16 counts of premeditated murder and six counts of attempted murder in the attack on two villages. Nine of the victims were children.

The hearing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., will help determine whether his case goes to a court martial.


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