Bales to face military court hearing in September - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Bales to face military court hearing in September

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SEATTLE (AP) - The Army has scheduled a preliminary court hearing in September for the soldier accused of slaughtering 16 civilians during a pre-dawn rampage on two Afghan villages in March.

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales will face an Article 32 hearing on Sept. 17. Army spokesman Lt. Col. Gary Dangerfield says the location of the hearing has not been confirmed, but one of Bales' lawyers, Emma Scanlan, says it is expected to be held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of Seattle.

Investigators say Bales walked off his base in southern Afghanistan March 11, attacked two local villages and burned some of the victims' bodies. He's being held at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Under Article 32 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, an investigating officer must determine the sufficiency of the charges against a defendant before the case can proceed to a court martial.