Afghanistan

Judge Accepts Soldier's Guilty Plea for Killing 16 Afghan Civilians

"There's not a good reason in this world for why I did the horrible things I did," he says

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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."