JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD — The defense attorney for Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, the man convicted of killing 16 Afghan civilians in March 2012, requested the prosecution be taken off the case after they incorrectly received an unredacted sanity-board report that evaluated Bales’ mental health.
Attorney John Henry Browne said the report gave the prosecution an unfair advantage in the final phase of the case. Bales plead guilty to in June to killing the civilians during an alcohol-fueled rage.
On Wednesday, the judge denied Browne’s request. The judge submitted one sentence via email to Bales’ attorney at 10 a.m. Wednesday morning, and gave no reason for his decision, Browne said. A change in prosecution could have set the case back weeks or even months if the judge had agreed with Browne.
Final arguments in the court martial begin on Aug. 19 and will determine whether or not Bales will spend the rest of his life behind bars or one day be eligible for parole.