Army seeks to bar mental health defense by Bales

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SEATTLE (AP) — The U.S. Army is seeking to bar Staff Sgt. Robert Bales from using any sort of mental health defense to charges that he slaughtered 16 Afghan villagers last year because he has refused to take part in a review of his sanity.

Bales is due to appear in a military courtroom at Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of Seattle on Thursday. His lawyers say he will plead not guilty. He's accused of leaving a remote base in southern Afghanistan early on March 11 and raiding two villages.

Court documents provided to The Associated Press show that military prosecutors say Bales should not be allowed to have mental health experts testify about what effect his mental health might have had on his guilt or about whether he should face the death penalty.

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