FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kansas -- The man accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians has had a brief phone conversation with his wife and two children. But efforts are underway to arrange a face-to-face meeting. That’s according to one of the attorneys for Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales. Correspondent Austin Jenkins reports Bales’ defense team will spend the next two days interviewing him at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
The 38-year-old Washington-based soldier is being held isolated from other inmates at the Army prison. Bales’ defense team traveled there over the weekend to meet him for the first time. That team includes prominent Seattle attorney John Henry Browne and his associate Emma Scanlan, as well as a military defense counsel. Scanlan says it’s too early to say if they’ll request the Army move Bales back to Joint Base Lewis-McChord or request psychiatric care for him.
“I don’t think we’re going to try to be trying to figure out anything about his mental status in the first couple hours that we’re meeting with him. This is more of an informational interview with him. It’s a chance for him to get to know us, to build a trust relationship and a rapport,” Scanlan says.
In a statement, defense attorneys say Sgt. Bales’ family is “stunned in the face of this tragedy,” but stand behind him. The family has moved onto Lewis-McChord for security reasons. Scanlan says one of her concerns is the family’s security when they leave the Army post. She adds efforts are underway to coordinate with civilian police.
Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network