Afghan Massacre Suspect Had Brain Injury: Lawyer

Lawyers ready 'mental health defense' for Robert Bales

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 18, 2013 2:18 AM CST

(Newser) – Before allegedly launching a shooting spree against Afghan villagers, US Staff Sgt. Robert Bales was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, his lawyer said at a hearing yesterday. Bales' defense team said it was readying a "mental health defense" in the massacre case; lawyer John Henry Browne says he has government documents confirming the diagnosis, which came before the deployment in question.

The military judge called for a "sanity board" of doctors to review Bales' health. The defense hasn't yet entered a plea, thereby keeping options open for new motions. Browne, a civilian, said it would take at least a year and a half for him to formulate his case. A fair trial, he told reporters, is unlikely unless "we slow this thing down," Reuters reports. He also noted that two potential witnesses for the prosecution had been killed by US-led troops after it emerged that they were insurgents. Bales faces 16 murder charges, among other charges.

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales participates in an exercise at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif.
Staff Sgt. Robert Bales participates in an exercise at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif.   (AP Photo/DVIDS, Spc. Ryan Hallock, File)
John Henry Browne, a civilian attorney for Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, talks to reporters, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013.
John Henry Browne, a civilian attorney for Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, talks to reporters, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
« Prev« Prev | Next »Next » Slideshow
My TakeCLICK BELOW TO VOTE
2%
19%
30%
9%
4%
36%
To report an error on this story, notify our editors.

NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS
Other Sites We Like:   The Street   |   HitFix   |   PopSugar Tech   |   RealClear   |   24/7 Wall St.   |   CollegeHumor   |   Barstool Sports   |   OK!