Testimony against JBLM soldier cites bloody clothing, confessionson November 8, 2012 @ 6:17 am (Updated: 8:44 am - 11/8/12 )
The hearing has been full of new details in the murder case against him.
The testimony so far has focused on what Staff Sergeant Robert Bales was doing the night of the murders and what he told fellow soldiers. Those soldiers testified that Bales was drinking that night, and that he admitted to the killings.
They talked about how Bales burst into their rooms saying he killed several people in a nearby village, and he was going to go back out for another round. They also testified Bales believed he was doing the right thing, and thought he had killed at least 20. His clothes and weapons were reportedly covered with blood.
On Thursday, forensic experts are expected to testify that DNA evidence from at least one of the victims was found on Bales' clothing and weapons, but the reliability of that evidence is expected to be challenged.
Military witnesses testified Wednesday that three weeks went by before they were able to get to the crime scene and collect evidence. It took so long because they were worried they would be killed. When they finally made it to the villages, they had helicopter support, mine sweepers and a full platoon to protect them.
But by that time, bodies had been buried and some blood stains had been scraped from the walls, Special Agent Matthew Hoffman of the Army's Criminal Investigation Command testified Wednesday.
Investigators did recover shell casings consistent with the weapons Bales reportedly carried and a piece of fabric similar to the blanket prosecutors say he wore as a cape during the killing spree.
Bales has not entered a plea, and is not expected to testify. His attorneys, who did not give an opening statement, have not discussed the evidence, but say Bales has post-traumatic stress disorder and suffered a concussive head injury during a prior deployment to Iraq.
The hearing, which is expected to feature testimony from some Afghan soldiers and villagers Friday and Saturday night, will help determine whether his case advances to a court martial on counts of premeditated murder.
Bales could be put to death if he's convicted of these crimes.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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