Lawyer: Suspect's Friend Lost Leg 2 Days Before Afghan Shootings

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales met with his attorney, John Henry Browne, for the first time Monday.


Charges are likely to filed this week against an American soldier accused of gunning down 16 Afghan civilians, including nine children.

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales met with his attorney, John Henry Browne, for the first time Monday. The meeting, which Browne described as one of the most emotional of his life, lasted three and a half hours. A second meeting is planned for Monday afternoon.

Bales is currently in solitary confinement at a military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

During the meeting, Browne said Bales confirmed a story first recounted by Bales' family, that a friend's leg had been blown off by a roadside bomb. Bales' clarified that it happened two days prior to the Afghan shootings, not hours before as had first been reported, and that he did not witness the explosion but saw the aftermath.

Browne has represented several high-profile clients, including serial killer Ted Bundy and more recently the "Barefoot Bandit," Colton Harris-Moore, who gained international attention for stealing planes, boats and cars. Bales' wife brought Browne into the case after seeing him on TV.

Browne reportedly plans to focus on the rapid turnover from stateside to overseas repeatedly-deploying soldiers face, even when suffering from injuries. According to CBS News correspondent Peter Van Sant, a number of sources outside Bales' defense team have described the pre-deployment evaluation process for soldiers with concussive brain injuries, which Bales reportedly had, as a "bit of a cursory medical examination."

"The idea is to try to get these people back out into the field as quickly as possible," Van Sant said.

Van Sant reports that Browne's main goal is to make sure Bales doesn't get the death penalty.

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  • by Davidkey Location: LA on Mar 20, 2012 at 05:28 PM
    People don't know how traumatizing war experience can be. In any war there are crazy things that happen. Good articles on
  • by Anonymous on Mar 20, 2012 at 10:30 AM
    I have thinking and has anyone thought to check the accounts of this soldier? Maybe the Taliban paid him to do it so that this whole fight to send the americans home would get initiated? His wife did hire that "high" dollar attorney, on a military paycheck????..Im beginning to think he was paid off!
  • by Jennifer on Mar 19, 2012 at 10:42 PM
    I dont believe that what he did was right, but knowing what it is like in Afghanistan, and reading about his prior tours and injuries,...this man has had enough and I think it is very sad that soldiers cannot be released when they need to be or least kept home. There are numerous soldiers that havent deployed yet others that have gone several times. He is sick and needs help. He should have never been cleared to go back. Someone needs to check the background of the doctor that cleared him. I know from experience that the doctors are all about getting them back in the fight, and it is not fair. There is a time when someone else needs to step in and say "no more" but no they wait til this happens and then want to put him to death, are you crazy?? You made him this way! And there are many many more out there right now like ticking time bombs, its just a matter of time. Again, he needs help and lots of it but its not his fault....he was just trying to please his superiors by going soldier wants to be taken out of the fight, others look down upon them for that and call them weak, now look at him......
  • by wife Location: Colorado Springs on Mar 19, 2012 at 08:30 PM
    I see people making the comment that he just should have gotten out of the Army. It is nearly impossible to get discharged. I have a husband who suffers from multiple injuries and PTSD from being in Afghanistan and yet, there is NO talk of being discharged...even though he only has a few months left in. He has to stay and train, which just causes more pain and injuries, both physically and mentally. My husband would never do what this man did, and there is no excuse for it, but don't blame him for not getting out of the Army. It is a nearly impossible task.
  • by Military family member on Mar 19, 2012 at 07:12 PM
    This soldier should be tried and punished in Afghan courts... Forget life in prison, the punishment if found guilty should fit the crime... No excuse for this... Definitely feel for his wife and kids, knowing what he has done to others...
    • reply
      by Jennifer on Mar 19, 2012 at 10:44 PM in reply to Military family member
      If you are a military family member then you should know what he is going through. How can you say this? Has your loved one a war zone? NO a paper pusher job? Probably not. It is so unamerican to ask that he be tried in afghanistan. You really should take a trip there once, or twice, better yet go a third time.....your views will change...if you make it out.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 19, 2012 at 04:53 PM
    Just how are the dead women and children involved in his friends loss of limb? Next excuse.
  • by @Bill on Mar 19, 2012 at 03:37 PM
    Even John Wayne isn't John Wayne anymore. His real name was Marion, by the way but you can't defeat commies named Marion, can you?
  • by Native on Mar 19, 2012 at 03:33 PM
    Cry me a river Bill!
  • by NWO Location: everywhere on Mar 19, 2012 at 03:32 PM
    If you wanted to wear down your defenses and further endanger your country with returning stressed out warriors (especially in law enforcement roles) as part of a plan for world government one way would be to keep the war going indefinitely and keep sending them back to fight. Looks like its working.
  • by Christian on Mar 19, 2012 at 03:07 PM
    Once Bin Laden and his posse were taken care of we should have started packing. Our troops are in way over thier heads for no reason what so ever. Let them be back woods robe and turbin where'n folks if they want. We can always go back and take care of business if needed. Do like the Russkies did and vacate the A.O. while you can!
    • reply
      by Christian on Mar 19, 2012 at 03:07 PM in reply to Christian
      I meant wear'n LOL
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