MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Lawyer: Army plied JBLM soldier behind Afghan massacre with booze, steroids

May 30, 2013, 6:28 PM | Updated: 6:39 pm

The lawyer for the JBLM soldier accused of massacring 16 villagers during a bloody rampage in Afghanistan says his client suffered post traumatic stress disorder and was on steroids at the time.

Seattle attorney John Henry Browne told CNN Thursday special forces troops “pumped” Sgt. Robert Bales with steroids and alcohol regularly before the March, 2012 rampage.

“Of course nobody forces him to take it but that’s how he got it. The Army admits that,” Browne said.

Browne confirmed Bales will plead guilty next week to charges stemming from the massacre to avoid the death penalty. He again blamed the military for redeploying Bales to Afghanistan despite suffering from PTSD and a head injury.

“I think that the person who made the decision to send Sgt. Bales to the most dangerous area in Afghanistan in a small outpost is responsible for Sgt. Bales being in Afghanistan, and he should have never been there.”

Browne called Bales a “broken man,” and said he’ll bring in mental health experts to convince the military court to accept his client’s plea and avoid the death penalty.

“We don’t believe the defense would rise to the level of a legal insanity defense or a legal diminished capacity defense. But we feel it’s very mitigating.”

The Army has refused comment on a potential plea ahead of the June 5 hearing at JBLM.

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Lawyer: Army plied JBLM soldier behind Afghan massacre with booze, steroids