1 murder charge dropped against JBLM soldier accused of killing Afghan civilians


JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Washington - The Army dropped one charge of premediated murder against Staff Sgt. Robert Bales on Friday and amended the list of total charges against him, Joint Base Lewis-McChord said.

The 38-year-old father of two from Lake Tapps is accused of leaving a U.S. military post on March 11, killing now 16 Afghan civilians, including children, and burning some of the bodies in Panjwai district of Kandahar province. Several other Afghan civilians were wounded in the attack.

Here is the full list of charges Bales now faces:

  • Article 118- sixteen specifications of premeditated murder 
  • Article 80- six specifications of attempted premeditated murder
  • Article 128- seven specifications of assault
  • Article 112a- two specifications of wrongfully possessing and using a Schedule III controlled substance (steroids)
  • Article 92- one specification of wrongfully consuming alcohol while deployed 

In a statement, the Army said the modified charges "conform to developments in the ongoing investigation surrounding Staff Sgt. Bales' alleged crimes on March 11, 2012."

Bales is being held at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and has hired prominent Seattle attorney John Henry Browne to represent him.