I CORPS PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, WASH.
For more information, contact:
(253) 477-3048 or (253) 370-9861 On-call: 253-967-0015, ask for I Corps PAO
News Release #097-12 December 19, 2012

Court-martial charges referred against I Corps Soldier
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – The General Court-Martial Convening Authority this week referred court-martial charges against Staff Sgt. Robert Bales to a General Court-Martial authorized to adjudge the death penalty. This decision was made after reviewing the Article 32 report of investigation. Trial is scheduled to take place at JBLM; however, no trial date has been set. Charges against Bales include:       Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), Article 118 - Premeditated Murder; 16 specifications of murder UCMJ, Article 80 – 6 specifications of attempted murder UCMJ, Article 128 - seven specifications of assault UCMJ, Article 134 - two specifications of conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline UCMJ, Article 112a - two specifications of wrongful use of a controlled substance UCMJ, Article 92 - one specification of violation of a lawful order

The charges result from an investigation into Bales’ alleged shooting of 22 citizens of Afghan descent in Afghanistan on March 11, 2012. At the time of the incident, Bales was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team. He is currently in pretrial confinement at the Northwest Joint Regional Confinement Facility here at JBLM. If convicted of all charges (and specifications), the maximum punishment is death. For capital punishment to be imposed, the court-martial members must unanimously find: the service member is guilty of the eligible crime; at least one aggravating factor exists; and that the aggravating factor must substantially outweigh any extenuating or mitigating circumstances found by the court-martial members. The charges are merely accusations and the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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