The American soldier charged with slaughtering 16 Afghan villagers, many of them women and children, has pleaded guilty.
Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, 39, of Lake Tapps, Ohio, struck a deal with Army prosecutors to avoid the death penalty.
Bales, a father of two, appeared in a Washington State military courtroom in uniform and pleaded guilty to 16 counts of murder, 6 counts of attempted murder and 7 counts of assault in connection to two nighttime raids. He pleaded not guilty to a charge involving a stolen laptop.
A military jury will determine if his life sentence will include the possibility of parole. The sentencing-phase trial is set to start in September.
In March, Bales left his remote outpost in the Kandahar province during the pre-dawn hours to go on a shooting spree in two nearby villages.
During Wednesday's hearing, Bales said he could not explain why he did it.