Preliminary hearing ends in US soldier's case - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Preliminary hearing ends in US soldier's case

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JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. (AP) - The preliminary hearing against a soldier accused of massacring 16 Afghan villagers during a pre-dawn rampage earlier this year has concluded.

Closing arguments from Army prosecutors and Staff Sgt. Robert Bales' attorney were made Tuesday.

In the coming weeks, investigating officer Col. Lee Deneke will decide whether to recommend court-martial, with the ultimate decision to be made by the three-star general at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Robert Brown.

Bales, a 39-year-old father of two from Lake Tapps, Wash., could face the death penalty.

If a court-martial takes place, it will be held at the Washington state base south of Seattle.