U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales pleaded guilty on June 5 to the premeditated murder of 16 Afghan civilians during a rampage last year. Bales told a military judge, “There is not a good reason in the world why I did the terrible things I did.” Defense attorneys say Bales was under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time of the killing spree. He is attempting to avoid the death penalty with his open confession.
A 23-year-old woman in the Czech Republic delivered what is believed to be the first naturally conceived set of quintuplets in the European country’s history on June 2. Alexandra Kinova had four boys and a girl via cesarean section at a Prague hospital. Doctors said Kinova had no complications and gave the babies a 95 percent chance of a healthy life. Kinova had already had one child prior to the birth of her five youngest children.
Adam Nelson, one of the most decorated shot putters of all time, finally won an Olympic gold medal on May 30—nine years after he placed second at the 2004 Athens games. The International Olympic Committee gave the award retroactively after disqualifying Ukranian Yuriy Bilonog for using performance-enhancing drugs. Nelson and Bilonog had tied for the best throw, but Bilonog won gold for the longest second-best distance. Nelson, 37, retired three weeks before he was awarded the gold medal.
Hall of Fame defensive end David “Deacon” Jones, the NFL’s original “sack master,” died on June 3 at age 74. Jones is credited with coining the term sack for a defensive player’s tackle of an opposing quarterback behind the line of scrimmage. Jones, who was named to eight Pro Bowls and six All-Pro teams, played from 1961 to 1974 for the Los Angeles Rams, San Diego Chargers, and Washington Redskins. He was part of the Rams’ “Fearsome Foursome” defensive line, which Dick Butkus called “the most dominant line in football history.”
A South Carolina teen on June 3 recited the Lord’s Prayer during his valedictory address in defiance of school officials who tried to ban prayer at graduation ceremonies. Valedictorian Roy Costner IV stepped to the microphone and ripped up his approved remarks, speaking instead about his upbringing in a Christian home. Deafening cheers greeted Costner’s recitation of the Lord’s Prayer, and Liberty High School officials said no action will be taken against the teen.
A Tennessee woman who never met her father received his driver’s license on May 29—45 years after he died in a helicopter crash in the Vietnam War. Army Capt. Michael Momcilovich’s driver’s license was found about 10 years after his death in May 1968, but it took decades to locate his family. Two Vietnam veterans presented Kristin James, who was 15 months old when her father died, and the man’s brother, Mark Momcilovich, with the charred license.