Official: Accused Soldier 'Snapped' After Drinking
Lawyer says he didn't want Afghan deployment
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2012 2:50 AM CDT
Updated Mar 16, 2012 7:55 AM CDT
Afghan security forces stand guard outside one of the homes where Afghan civilians were killed last weekend.   (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan)

(Newser) – The US soldier accused of slaughtering 16 Afghan villagers had been drinking and was stressed about being on his fourth combat tour, a military official tells the New York Times. "When it all comes out, it will be a combination of stress, alcohol, and domestic issues—he just snapped," the official says. John Henry Browne, the Seattle lawyer who has taken the soldier's case, says these reports are baseless. His client, he says, served three tours in Iraq, "wasn't thrilled about going on another deployment. He was told he wasn't going back, and then he was told he was going."

According to Browne, the 38-year-old previously suffered a concussive head injury following a roadside bombing and a battle-related injury that resulted in surgery to remove part of his foot. And the day before the killing, his friend's "leg was blown off, and my client was standing next to him," notes Browne, who says the incident affected the entire base. Browne says his client is a "career military man" who grew up in the Midwest, and enlisted within a week of the 9/11 attacks. His family is "totally shocked," he tells AP. "He's never said anything antagonistic about Muslims. He's in general very mild-mannered."

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Your Take
74% of people agree
that it's Depressing
Check Out Another Depressing Story
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 39 comments
Mar 20, 2012 1:37 AM CDT
Visit the emergency ward any night and you'll find 1/4 of the intake is related to booze.
Mar 17, 2012 4:00 AM CDT
what is it about alcohol that makes white people go crazy???
Mar 17, 2012 1:56 AM CDT
and what person put a gun to his head to join an all voluntary military. Fry the bastard