Pretrial hearing for soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan citizens begins
(MCT) — JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. — It was 2 a.m. March 11, and Sgt. Jason McLaughlin was roused from sleep when the lights were switched on in his quarters in Southern Afghanistan. He was startled, he testified, to find Staff Sgt. Robert Bales by his bed.
On Monday, the opening day of Bales’ pretrial hearing on charges of killing 16 Afghan citizens — most of them women and children — McLaughlin described that strange predawn visit. He said Bales told him he’d just killed “military-age males” in a nearby village, and he urged McLaughlin to smell his gun, which had been fired.
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