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Brother Testifies for Defense in Afghan Massacre

Peter Millet
Associated Press

An older brother of the U.S. soldier who massacred 16 Afghan civilians last year is telling a military jury about what his sibling was like as a youth.

Bill Bales says Staff Sgt. Robert Bales was an outgoing youngster who served as his high school class president and captain of the football team in Norwood, Ohio, where they grew up.

The elder Bales is the first defense witness in the case to determine if his brother should receive life in prison with the possibility of parole, or without it.

He also recalled their late father's struggles with alcohol, and his fervent religious belief.

Bales pleaded guilty in June in a deal to avoid the death penalty for the solo pre-dawn attacks on two villages in March 2012.