Home > Global news > Accused soldier has ‘no memory’ of massacre

Accused soldier has ‘no memory’ of massacre

  • By NewsCoreCBS News 
  • From:NewsCore 
  • March 20, 2012 10:35AM
THE US soldier accused of massacring 16 Afghan civilians in a door-to-door rampage, has no memory of the incident, his lawyer said today.
John Henry Browne and two other attorneys met with Staff Sgt Robert Bales for seven hours overnight at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where Sgt Bales was transferred late last week.

“He has no memory,” Mr Browne told CBS News. “He has an early memory of that evening and a later memory of that evening but he doesn’t have any in between.”

Mr Browne said Sgt Bales, 38, had not admitted to the killings. He also said Sgt Bales was “in shock”.

“He’s fixated on the troops left on the ground and what they’re accusing him of and how that may have negative ramifications on his friends and patriots,” Mr Browne said.

Mr Browne also said his client was not drunk on the night of the massacre but had had a “couple of sips of something”.

Reports also emerged today about Sgt Bales’ troubled past as a financial adviser.

Reports said that Sgt Bales was accused of fraud and stealing money from clients prior to entering the army, defrauding one Ohio couple of over a million dollars in 2002.

He was also accused of assaulting a girlfriend in 2002 and leaving the scene of an accident in 2008.

Sgt Bales and his wife, Karilyn, were also in financial difficulty and planned to sell their home in Washington state for $US50,000 less than the price they originally bought it for.

Today, his wife released a statement in which she called the March 11 massacre a “terrible and heartbreaking tragedy”.

“What has been reported is completely out of character of the man I know and admire,” she wrote, adding, “The victims and their families are all in my prayers, as is my husband who I love very much.”

Sgt Bales, who was on his fourth tour of duty following previous tours in Iraq, allegedly left his base in the Panjway district of Kandahar province and walked to a nearby village, where he went on a house-to-house rampage during the early hours. Most of the victims were women and children.

Mr Browne told CBS News he would not seek an insanity defence for his client, but instead a diminished capacity defence.

Sgt Bales is expected to be officially charged later this week.


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