Staff Sgt. Robert Bales will spend life in prison without the possibility of parole, a military jury decided Friday at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
Here are the moments I was able to draw in the courtroom:
Staff Sgt. Walden, the court bailiff, handed the jury’s decision to judge Col. Jeffery Nance, who read it and gave it back to him to take to the jury for the final announcement.
Lt. Col. Jay Morse presented the prosecution’s closing arguments to the jury of six high-ranking U.S. Army soldiers. Among the slides he showed, I was left with the impression of an image that showed one of Bales’ victims, a young girl with her head all covered in blood.
Morse also showed a slide with the names of 48 people who died or were wounded by Bales.
Defense attorney Emma Scanlan tried to convince the jury that her client, who already pleaded guilty for his crimes in June, deserved a chance at parole based on his military record.
Afterward, the group of Afghans flown to JBML for the sentencing appeared before the media. Since we were outside the courtroom, cameras were allowed and recorded the moment. For a minute I thought I’d just listen, but then I started to sketch. That’s what I came to do, after all. It’s a scene that I will remember for a long time.