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Bales' defense wants prosecutors off slayings case

Published On: Aug 14 2013 01:06:29 PM CDT
Staff Sgt Robert Bales

Spc. Ryan Hallock/DOD


Lawyers for the American soldier convicted of killing 16 Afghan civilians during nighttime raids last year are asking a judge to remove the entire prosecution team from the case before his sentencing next week.

Emma Scanlan, a civilian attorney for Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, said during a hearing Tuesday the prosecutors were accidentally given a copy of compelled statements Bales made to Army psychiatrists. She says at least one read it, even though they should have known better.

Bales pleaded guilty in June in a deal to avoid the death penalty. He faces life in prison either with or without the possibility of parole.

Substitute Army lawyers argued there was no need to replace the prosecution team.

They proposed a series of measures to ensure that Bales' compelled statements don't inform the government's case at sentencing.