Lawyer in Kansas to Meet with Shooting Suspect
SEATTLE (AP) - The Army sergeant accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians will have a chance to meet with his attorney face-to-face for the first time today.
Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales is being held in an isolated cell at Fort Leavenworth's military prison in Kansas.
The 38-year-old hasn't been charged yet, but that's expected to happen within a week.
Bales' defense team has said it's too early to say what may have "played into" the incident. In addition to reviewing the evidence, the lawyers say they'll examine Bales' medical and personnel records, and interview witnesses.
Military officials have said that Bales had been drinking on the base in Afghanistan's southern Kandahar province before he crept away in the early morning hours of March 11. They say he entered two villages, shooting his victims and setting many of them on fire. Nine of the 16 killed were children. Eleven belonged to one family.
Court records and interviews indicate Bales had a string of commendations for good conduct during four tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. But he also had financial struggles and recently failed to get a promotion.
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