March 23, 2012– Robert Bales, an Army Staff Sergeant, will face 17 charges of assault and murder and a number of others in the massacre of villagers in Afghanistan while they slept. He will face 17 charges of murder, six of attempted murder and another six for aggravated assault. Included in the charges against him are dereliction of duty and various violations of military law.
Bales is 38 and the father of two children. His is from Lake Tapps, Washington. He is alleged to have attacked 17 adults and children in two separate villages. Military officials said the Sergeant burned some of the bodies after shooting them.
He will hear the charges against him on Friday afternoon. The hearing will be held at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, where the military has a large prison. He will face trial under Military Justice.
Bates’ lawyer has portrayed him as a U.S. patriot, devoted husband and loving father who became traumatized after a comrade was injured and he took a blow to the head.
Bales first joined the armed services in 2001. He had previously worked for a number of securities companies in Florida. In 2003, he and another broker were hit with an arbitration ruling against them for 1.5 million. A couple said their savings had been decimated.