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At Sentencing, Bales Apologizes for Afghan Massacre

Peter Millet
Associated Press

The U.S. soldier who massacred 16 Afghan villagers apologized for his "act of cowardice" as he made his case for why he should one day have a shot at freedom.

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales said Thursday that he was operating "behind a mask of fear ... and bravado" when he went on a solo nighttime mission and slaughtered villagers in mud-walled huts.

Bales, 39, pleaded guilty in June in a deal to avoid the death penalty for the March 11, 2012 attacks. A jury is determining if his life sentence should offer a chance of parole.

Bales says that he was mad at himself for being angry all the time, drinking too much and hiding his problems