Wednesday, June 5, a small courtroom at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Seattle will be the scene of a familiar proceeding: An American soldier pleading guilty to charges in connection with the death of civilians during the war in Afghanistan.
An attorney for Sergeant Robert Bales said his client is prepared to plead guilty to premeditated murder in hope of attaching a possibility of parole to a life sentence.
Prosecutors said Bales used a pistol, rifle and grenade launcher to attack people—mostly women and children—as they slept in their homes in March 2012. Bales' attorney said his client suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and a head injury before deployment.
In November 2010, Boise Weekly traveled to Joint Base Lewis-McChord to chronicle the court proceedings of Pfc. Andrew Holmes of Boise.
Holmes was sentenced to seven years behind bars for killing an unarmed 15-year-old Afghan boy in January 2010. Homes was one of six soldiers charged by the military with being part of a so-called "kill team," slaying Afghan civilians while deployed to Kandahar Province.