Soldier Accused Of Killing 16 Afghan Villagers Identified
Bales, 38, is scheduled to arrive at the Fort Leavenworth army base in Kansas Friday where he will be held in maximum security.
The staff sergeant has yet to be charged in the incident.
Seattle attorney John Henry Browne, who said he was representing the staff sergeant, told Reuters that post-traumatic stress disorder will likely be part of the defense.
Browne said during a news conference Thursday that his client didn’t harbor antagonistic views of Muslims. Browne said Bales was upset after seeing a member of his unit have his leg blown off the previous day.
CBS News reported that the suspect had been drinking with two other soldiers, which is forbidden in combat zones. He is believed to have then left his base in southern Afghanistan Sunday and walked to two nearby villages where he fatally shot 16 villagers, including nine children.
It was Bales’ fourth deployment, which Browne said he “wasn’t thrilled about…He was told he wasn’t going back, and then he was told he was going.”
According to NBC, the staff sergeant suffered a traumatic head injury and a foot injury in separate incidences during previous deployments to Iraq.
Bales was deployed to Afghanistan in December with the 3rd Stryker Brigade based out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Wash., NBC reported. He is married, has two children and a clean record of conduct, officials said.
Gen. David Rodriguez, commanding general of U.S. Army Forces Command, said it was a tragedy.
“Everyone knows this doesn’t reflect our standards or values, nor does it reflect the soldiers that perform here and overseas,” Rodriguez told NBC. “They are shocked, just as we are.”
Reach executive producer Agnus Dei Farrant here.