Prosecutor: US soldier had blood of victims on him

Associated Press Modified: November 5, 2012 at 6:47 pm •  Published: November 5, 2012
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Shortly before leaving the base, Bales told a Special Forces soldier that he was unhappy with his family life and that the troops should have been quicker to retaliate for the March 5 bomb attack, Morse said.

"At all times, he had a clear understanding of what he was doing and what he had done," said Morse, who described Bales as lucid and responsive.

Bales is accused of slipping away from the remote outpost with an M4 rifle outfitted with a grenade launcher to attack the villages of Balandi and Alkozai, in a dangerous district.

Prosecutors played for the first time the video captured by a surveillance blimp that showed the caped figure running toward the base, then stopping and dropping his weapons as he was confronted. There was no audio.

It wasn't immediately clear from where Bales got the cape.

As he stood outside the base, Godwin testified, Bales had asked him and another soldier: "Did you rat me out? Did you rat me out?"

Part of the hearing will be held overnight to allow video testimony from witnesses, including an estimated 10 to 15 Afghans, in Afghanistan.

Bales' attorney, John Henry Browne, said the hearing will give the defense a chance to see what the military can prove. He said they are expecting a court martial.

The Ohio native joined the Army in late 2001 — after the 9/11 attacks — as his career as a stockbroker imploded, including an arbitrator's $1.5 million fraud judgment against him and his former company.

Bales was serving his fourth combat tour after three stints in Iraq and his arrest prompted a national discussion about the stresses that soldiers face from multiple deployments.

His lawyers have said Bales remembers little or nothing from around the time of the attacks.

Emma Scanlan, one of his attorneys, declined to say to what extent the lawyers hope to elicit testimony that could be used to support a mental-health defense. Bales himself will not make any statements.

She said the Army had only recently turned over a preliminary DNA trace evidence report from the crime scenes, but defense experts have not had time to review it.

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Johnson can be reached at https://twitter.com/GeneAPseattle .