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Prosecutor: Afghan massacre victims key to deal

Published On: Nov 07 2013 12:43:47 PM CST
Staff Sgt Robert Bales

Spc. Ryan Hallock/DOD


The military prosecutor who won a life sentence for a soldier who massacred 16 Afghan civilians says he tried his best to serve the soldier's victims, many of whom wanted a death sentence.

Lt. Col. Jay Morse spoke Thursday to The Associated Press at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

Morse prosecuted Sgt. Robert Bales, who shot 22 people in Afghanistan's Kandahar province in March 2012. Shortly after getting the case, Morse says he wrote down three goals: to convict Bales, to satisfy his victims or help them understand the legal process, and to avoid any major mistakes.

 Bales agreed to a deal to avoid the death penalty.

Morse says several issues led to the deal, including uncertainty over access to the crime scene and witnesses as American troops draw down.