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“It felt like a thousand pounds of bricks hit me in the chest,” he said. “I ran to see if Sgt. Bales was in his room.”

He wasn’t, McLaughlin said.

A surveillance blimp captured video of a caped man — identified as Bales — returning to the base. He was greeted by McLaughlin and other soldiers with “weapons at the ready,” said Morse.

McLaughlin said Bales‘ first words were: “Are you (expletive) kidding me?”

McLaughlin testified that he then turned to McLaughlin and asked: “Mac, did you rat me out?” McLaughlin replied, “No.”

The night before the raids, Bales and two other soldiers watched “Man On Fire,” a fictional 2004 Denzel Washington movie about a former CIA operative on a revenge spree, the prosecutor said.

Cpl. David Godwin testified that Bales seemed normal as they shared whiskey, discussed Bales‘ anxiety over whether he’d get a promotion and talked about another soldier who lost his leg a week in an attack a week earlier.

Shortly before leaving the base, Bales told a Special Forces soldier, Sgt. 1st Class Clayton Blackshear, that he was unhappy with his family life and that the troops should have been quicker to retaliate for the March 5 bomb attack, Morse said.

“At all times, he had a clear understanding of what he was doing and what he had done,” said Morse, who described Bales as lucid and responsive.

Prosecutors played for the first time the video captured by the surveillance blimp that showed the caped figure running toward the base, then stopping and dropping his weapons as he was confronted. There was no audio.

It wasn’t immediately clear from where Bales got the cape.

Part of the hearing will be held overnight to allow video testimony from witnesses in Afghanistan.

Bales‘ attorney, John Henry Browne, said the hearing will give the defense a chance to see what the military can prove. He said they are expecting a court-martial.

Bales‘ wife, Karilyn, told a Seattle TV station that she hoped for a fair proceeding if her husband goes to trial.

“It all seems incomprehensible to me,” she told KING-TV. “This is not something he would do, not the Bob I know.”

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