JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. — Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales pleaded guilty Wednesday to the slaying of 16 Afghan civilians in 2012, telling a military judge "There's not a good reason in this world for why I did the horrible things I did."
The military judge, Col. Jeffery Nance, accepted the plea, ensuring Bales will avoid the death penalty.
A jury will decide in August whether he will be sentenced to life in prison with or without the possibility of parole.
Bales, 39, entered the plea in a military courtroom to multiple counts of premeditated murder and other charges. Nance explained Bales' rights and asked if he understood them. Bales stood and answered, "Yes, sir, I do."