Military

Robert Bales Seeks Leniency From Court for Killing Rampage

Lots of victims' families might not go along with that

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Bales' defense team for the first time began to make its case for leniency during his sentencing hearing Wednesday, depicting the Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) staff sergeant in sharp contrast to the earlier portrayals of Bales as a coldblooded assassin who stalked women, children and the elderly.

In brutal detail, Afghan villagers and prosecutors this week described how Bales indiscriminately murdered 16 innocent people, many of them pleading for their lives, during a predawn rampage last year on two villages outside of a remote military outpost in Kandahar province.

Bales, 39, a married father of two who lived with his wife and two children in Lake Tapps, Pierce County, pleaded guilty in June to the slayings and other charges under a deal to spare him a death sentence.