Life, no parole for US soldier who killed 16 Afghans
Staff Sgt. Robert Bales (R), pictured August 21, 2011, at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California. Bales, the US army sergeant who killed 16 Afghan villagers, was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole on Friday.
A six-member military panel returned their sentence after less than two hours of deliberations following a harrowing five-day hearing.
Sergeant Robert Bales, 40, had pleaded guilty to killing the villagers in March last year in a deal brokered by his defense team to avoid the death penalty.
Bales, who on Thursday had offered an apology for his crimes, showed no emotion as he was led away.
He was also given a dishonorable discharge and ordered to forfeit all pay and benefits.
The soldier's mother sobbed as the sentence was revealed while a translator meanwhile gave a thumbs-up signals to Afghan survivors of the massacre who had earlier testified in the hearing.
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