The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

August 23, 2013

Staff Sgt. Bales apologizes for Afghan massacre

(Continued)

Former pro football player Marc Edwards testified Thursday as a character witness, telling jurors he remembered Bales as a great leader from their high school days in Norwood, Ohio.

Wearing the Super Bowl ring he won with the New England Patriots in 2002, Edwards said the slightly older Bales "took me under his wing" and was magnanimous when Edwards took his position at starting linebacker.

The jurors on Thursday also heard from two soldiers who served with Bales in Iraq. One described how they sometimes had to collect the bodies of casualties, and how Bales helped carry civilians wounded and killed at the Battle of Zarqa in 2007.

Another soldier, Maj. Brent Clemmer, said it was unfathomable to learn that the competent, positive soldier he knew could have committed the killings.

"I walked myself into my office, poured myself a glass of scotch, and cried," he said.

The defense followed two days of testimony from nine Afghans, who spoke of their lives since the attacks.

Haji Mohammad Wazir lost 11 family members, including his mother, wife and six of his seven children. He told the six-member jury that the attacks destroyed what had been a happy life. He was in another village with his youngest son, now 5-year-old Habib Shah, during the attack.

"If someone loses one child, you can imagine how devastated their life would be," said Wazir, who received $550,000 in condolence payments from the U.S. government, out of $980,000 paid in all. "If anybody speaks to me about the incident ... I feel the same, like it's happening right now."

The massacre prompted such angry protests that the U.S. temporarily halted combat operations, and it was three weeks before Army investigators could reach the crime scene.

If Bales is sentenced to life with the possibility of parole, he would be eligible in 20 years, but there's no guarantee he would receive it. He will receive life with parole unless at least five of the six jurors say otherwise.

------

Follow Gene Johnson at https://twitter.com/GeneAPseattle.

Text Only
AP National
  • With Israel at war, US lawmakers give full support WASHINGTON (AP) — As the war in Gaza escalates, U.S. lawmakers are pressing the Obama administration to take no action that puts pressure on Israel to halt its military campaign against Hamas. Many even have criticized the administration's effort to

    July 29, 2014

  • Abuse suspect dead; two marshals, NY policeman hurt NEW YORK (AP) — A California man who skipped town after being accused of molesting a boy was killed and three law enforcement officers trying to arrest him were wounded in a daytime shootout inside a small smoke shop in one of New York's most bustlin

    July 29, 2014

  • Study: 35 percent in US facing debt collectors WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 35 percent of Americans have debts and unpaid bills that have been reported to collection agencies, according to a study released Tuesday by the Urban Institute. These consumers fall behind on credit cards or hospital bill

    July 29, 2014

  • Despite good news, benefit programs face problems WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite some good news, Medicare and Social Security still face long-term financial problems as millions of baby boomers reach retirement. Social Security's disability program is already in crisis as it edges toward the brink of ins

    July 29, 2014

  • 10 Things to Know for Today Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR ENTERS FOURTH WEEK — DURATION, DEATHS MATCH FIRST CONFLICT Heaviest bombardment in Gaza yet as Israeli aircraft, tanks and nav

    July 29, 2014

  • NYC uses food trucks to bring summer meals to kids NEW YORK (AP) — Within minutes, the line at the food truck parked on a busy Queens thoroughfare extended several people deep. Hipster foodies looking to sample vegan pizzas or fusion tacos? Nope, these were children, agonizing over whether to pick th

    July 29, 2014

  • Avoiding plane crashes as air traffic doubles NEW YORK (AP) — More travelers are flying than ever before, creating a daunting challenge for airlines: keep passengers safe in an ever more crowded airspace. Each day, 8.3 million people around the globe — roughly the population of New York City — s

    July 29, 2014

  • Analysis: Clinton impeachment shadows GOP lawsuit WASHINGTON (AP) — The last time Republicans unleashed impeachment proceedings against a Democratic president, they lost five House seats in an election they seemed primed to win handily. Memories of Bill Clinton and the campaign of 1998 may help expl

    July 28, 2014

  • After six weeks, finally a deal on VA health care WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records covering up delays. Congressi

    July 28, 2014

  • US: Russia has fired rockets into Ukraine WASHINGTON (AP) — Stepping up pressure on Moscow, the U.S. on Sunday released satellite images it says show that rockets have been fired from Russia into neighboring eastern Ukraine and that heavy artillery for separatists has crossed the border. The

    July 28, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National