JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- A military court hearing is underway for the Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier accused of shooting and killing 16 civilians in Afghanistan.
The army alleges that 39-year-old Sgt. Robert Bales was responsible for the massacre, which took place on the night of March 11.
KGMI’s legal analyst attorney Jeffery Lustick says he spoke with Bales' civilian defense attorney John Henry Browne, who is in Afghanistan as the army talks with Afghan villagers who witnessed the massacre.
In testimony yesterday, an army sergeant said that Bales told him he, “shot up some people” after the 16 Afghan civilians were killed.
Sgt. Joseph McLaughlin said he didn't believe Bales at the time because he'd been sleeping.
Live testimony from witnesses in Afghanistan is expected on Friday.
The preliminary hearing will continue for about two weeks, and will determine whether there's enough evidence against bales to move ahead with a court-martial.
Lustick says the hearing could be a rehearsal for the government’s criminal case against bales.