JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. (AP) — Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, the American soldier charged with killing 16 Afghan civilians during nighttime raids on two villages last year, is expected to plead guilty Wednesday to avoid the death penalty. He is also expected speak in a military courtroom about the slayings.
This is what AP reporters and photographers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of Seattle are learning about the events unfolding:
HUGE MEDIA PRESENCE
The number of media vehicles waiting for the Bales hearing was so large that a regular lane of traffic was blocked off near the JBLM gate to accommodate them before moving the first group to the security screening area. There, as with past hearings, vehicles had to have all doors open and were screened by a dog and a handler wearing a bullet proof vest. As media filed in to the work area, John Henry Browne and Lance Rosen, attorneys for Bales and his family, were seen talking in a separate parking lot. It looks like that for this hearing, media in the work area will have a four-camera split-screen view of the proceedings, in order to show different areas of the courtroom.
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