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Brother testifies for defense in Afghan massacre

August 22, 2013 • National News


CORRECTS SPELLING OF ARTIST’S LAST NAME TO MILLETT INSTEAD OF MILLET – In this courtroom sketch Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, foreground, is seated as prosecutor Lt Col. Jay Morse, right, speaks to the jury in a courtroom at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. during a sentencing hearing in the slayings of 16 civilians killed during pre-dawn raids on two villages on March 11, 2012. Haji Mohammad Naim, an Afghan farmer shot during a massacre in Kandahar Province last year, took the witness stand Tuesday against Bales, who attacked his village, cursing him before breaking down and pleading with the prosecutor not to ask him any more questions. (AP Photo/Peter Millett)

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. (AP) — A brother of the U.S. soldier who slaughtered 16 Afghan civilians last year began making the case Wednesday for why he should one day be eligible for parole, portraying him as a patriotic American and indulgent father who let his son put ranch dressing on chocolate chip pancakes.

“There’s no better father that I’ve seen,” William Bales said of his younger brother, Staff Sgt. Robert Bales. “If you brought the kids in here today, they’d run right to him.”

Sgt. Bales, 39, pleaded guilty in June in a deal to avoid the death penalty, acknowledging that he killed 16 people, mostly women and children, during unsanctioned, solo, pre-dawn raids on two villages March 11, 2012. A jury is deciding whether he should be sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole, or without it.

The picture painted by the first defense witness, William Bales, 55, severely contradicted that portrayed by the soldier’s admissions as Login to read more

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