Family stands by soldier accused in slayings
by Rachel La Corte, Associated Press
November 13, 2012 02:15 PM | 544 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In this Aug. 23, 2011, file photo, Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System photo, Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, 1st platoon sergeant, Blackhorse Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division participates in an exercise at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif. The preliminary hearing for Bales, accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians in March, begins Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, with villagers expected to testify by video from Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan. Bales is scheduled to appear at Joint Base Lewis-McChord for the pretrial hearing, which is expected to last two weeks. (AP Photo/DVIDS, Spc. Ryan Hallock, File)
In this Aug. 23, 2011, file photo, Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System photo, Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, 1st platoon sergeant, Blackhorse Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division participates in an exercise at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif. The preliminary hearing for Bales, accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians in March, begins Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, with villagers expected to testify by video from Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan. Bales is scheduled to appear at Joint Base Lewis-McChord for the pretrial hearing, which is expected to last two weeks. (AP Photo/DVIDS, Spc. Ryan Hallock, File)
slideshow
Afghanistan Massacre Slideshow
In this courtroom sketch, Capt. Daniel Fields, right, a prosecution witness in the military preliminary hearing of U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, testifies in a military courtroom at Joint Base Lewis McChord in Washington state, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. Bales is accused of 16 counts of premeditated murder and six counts of attempted murder for a pre-dawn attack on two villages in Kandahar Province in Afghanistan in March, 2012. At upper left is Investigating Officer Col. Lee Deneke. (AP Photo/Lois Silver)
view slideshow (12 images)
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. (AP) — The family of a soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan villagers this year says they grieve for the victims but continue to support Staff Sgt. Robert Bales.

The preliminary hearing in the Bales case concluded Tuesday, and the military will now decide whether he should face a court-martial.

Bales’ family released a statement after the hearing, saying the testimony from victims was "painful, even heartbreaking."

However his family says they still presume his innocence and know Bales as a "good citizen, soldier, son, husband, father, uncle and sibling."

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