The Army is going to seek the death penalty against Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, the soldier charged with the massacre of 16 Afghan civilians in a pre-dawn roid rage raid.
ABC News reports that 39-year-old Bales faces premeditated murder, among other charges for his attack on two villages in Afghanistan in March.
Prosecutors claim that Bales left his base in southern Afghanistan early on March 11, attacked a village, then returned to base before slipping away again to attack another village, killing 16 people, nine of them children.
At a pretrial hearing, an Army criminal investigations command special agent testified that Bales tested positive for steroids three days after the massacre, and other soldiers testified that he had been drinking the night before. Prosecutors also noted that he showed signs of knowing that what he did was wrong, as soldiers testified that when he returned to the base covered in blood, he made incriminating statements like, “I thought I was doing the right thing.”
Bales’ defense team plans to argue that he should not face the death penalty as he was serving his fourth tour in a warzone. The defense claims that the prosecution’s case is incomplete and that testing will have to be done to see if Bales suffered from PTSD.