Judge accepts US soldier's guilty plea to murdering Afghans

June 6, 2013 01:15

TACOMA, Wash., - A US military judge on Wednesday accepted the guilty plea of Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales to the premeditated murder of 16 Afghan civilians last year, approving a deal with prosecutors that spares the soldier from the death penalty.

Bales, 39, a decorated veteran of four combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, now faces a maximum penalty of life in prison without the possibility of parole. A military jury will decide his sentence after further proceedings set to begin Aug. 19.

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