Cops & Crime
5:36 am
Tue March 20, 2012

High Profile Lawyer Meets With Afghan Massacre Suspect

A team of defense lawyers is expected to spend another day at a Fort Leavenworth prison, interviewing the soldier under arrest in the killing of 16 Afghanistan civilians.

New twists to the killing spree have been trickling out of the meetings.

There's no independent confirmation of the events, other than what the lead attorney for Staff Sergeant Robert Bales has said by phone to various news agencies including the Associated Press.

John Henry Browne represents Bales and said the accused, but not yet charged, Bales has little or no recollection of the shootings in two Afghan villages. And Browne is quoted as saying, contrary to early reports, Bales did not actually witness the wounding of a fellow soldier who lost a leg the day before the rampage, rather that he heard about it from fellow soldiers.

Bales was moved to Fort Leavenworth last Friday to a pretrial prison known as the Joint Regional Correctional Facility. He is still being tested before joining the inmate population, in a process that takes from 5 to 7 days, according to the military.

Last year, when WikiLeaks suspect Private Bradley Manning was moved to the prison, Commandant, Lt. Colonel Dawn Hilton described the routine intake work that Bales is going through now.

"All of my prisoners receive in depth mental health evaluation. And they do look at their historical mental health issues as well as their potential future," said Hilton

As the defense lawyers meet again with Bales today, his state of mind at time of the shootings, after four tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, will be a critical issue.