Hearing begins for Afghan massacre suspect

Morse said that Bales returned to the base after allegedly killing Afghans in one village, and told a colleague: “Hey Mac, I just shot some people in Alkozai,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

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The sergeant told Bales to “quit messing around,” Morse said, and Bales responded:  “Cool, I’m going to Najiban, I’ll be back at 5."

Bales then left the base, and returned to his fellow soldiers raising their guns and demanding he drop his weapon, Morse said.

"Are you [expletive] kidding me? ... Mac, did you rat me out?" Morse quoted Bales as saying, according to the Times.

Bales returned to the base in a cape and had the victims’ blood on his rifle and clothes, Morse said, according to The Associated Press.

The prosecutor said that Bales was lucid, coherent and responsive when he committed the crimes.

Before he left the base that evening, Bales was drinking Jack Daniels and soda and watching “Man on Fire” with his colleagues. Morse said he had a “hugely important” conversation with a special-forces team member after the movie that helped explain his motivation for the killings, according to the Times.

The prosecutors also played a video showing a caped figure identified as Bales running toward the base, and stopping and dropping his weapons — an M-4 rifle with a grenade launcher — when confronted.

Morse quoted Bales as saying “I thought I was doing the right thing,” after Bales was taken into custody.

The pre-trial hearing could last as long as two weeks, and will determine if the case goes forward to a court martial.